CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The latest dispute over testing results came the very day Governor Jim Justice allowed himself to be tested live for coronavirus during his briefing on the pandemic. At the heart of the new testing controversy are positive cases in schools.
One of the state’s teachers’ unions and the governor’s election opponent issued press releases today, saying the state provides very little public information about schools where positive cases turn up. Specifically which schools and how many cases.
“If I’m going into school to work, I think I have the right to know. We’re not asking for names of people. And we’re not trying to discriminate against anyone who has come down with this horrible virus, but let’s be honest, I think people have the right to know,” said Fred Albert, WV American Federation of Teachers
The state says – not true – the information is shared with local school boards and others, and it’s up to them how much to disclose.
“It hasn’t changed from the beginning. If a child or staff is positive, it goes to the local health department and those are cases. They then do contact tracing,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, WV Public Health Officer.
As for the governor being tested on a live video stream, he is trying to promote massive testing in the state’s hardest-hit counties, those listed as “red” and “orange” on the state school activities map. The goal is to shut down the spread by identifying positive cases. The governor said if he can be tested, anyone can do it.
“It takes every bit of 10 seconds. There’s absolutely nothing to it at all. And there’s no pain. There’s no nothing, you know,” said Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia.
The governor has set aside $50 million in federal CARES Act funding, hoping to test up to 10,000 West Virginians every day.
“While COVID-19 remains the top priority, today the governor urged all parents to get themselves and their children flu shots soon. That’s to avoid a double-whammy of contagious viruses, as we get into fall,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.