CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – On Monday, Gov. Justice held his first COVID-19 briefing since testing positive for the disease early last week.
Instead of conducting the briefing from the normal location inside the Governor’s Reception Room, Gov. Justice opted to hold the briefing secluded away from the rest of his staff in his private office.
“I’ve got to admit, it’s been difficult, that’s for sure,” Gov. Justice said. “But, by the grace of God above, I made it through.
“As for all your well-wishes, I am beyond humbled,” Gov. Justice continued. “To just say ‘thanks’ almost seems inadequate. But I can tell you that I will never forget it.”
Following his bout with COVID-19, Gov. Justice increased the intensity of his pleas for all eligible West Virginians to get vaccinated or boosted.
“I believe that God has given us the ability to create medicines to try to save our lives, and I truly believe that my choice to get vaccinated and boosted saved my life,” Gov. Justice said. “I don’t believe in mandates. But I can share my personal experience and say that these vaccines are safe and they could very well save your life. And me being here, talking to you right now, may be a testimony to exactly just that.
“So I encourage you; if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get your vaccination. If you need your booster shot, get your booster shot.”
The CDC and FDA have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 booster for use in children ages 12 to 15, meaning that booster shots are now authorized for all West Virginians ages 12 and older.
The CDC and FDA have also shortened the waiting period to get the Pfizer booster from six months after receiving the initial series of shots to five months.
The FDA has approved and is encouraging booster doses for all Americans over 12 years old.
Read more about booster eligibility at CDC.gov.
COVID-19 booster shots are available, for free, to all eligible West Virginians.
West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with their vaccination card to receive their booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
Initial series vaccinations are available, for free, for everyone ages 5 and older.
West Virginians interested in being vaccinated or having their children vaccinated are encouraged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.
On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 20,392 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.
The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations now stands at 854.
The cumulative percent positivity rate stands at 7.32%.
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 27 school outbreaks in 16 counties.
Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer a reminder that last week he directed his Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) and his COVID-19 pandemic leadership team to review and approve requests from West Virginia hospitals for additional staffing support.
Staffing support is being provided by the West Virginia National Guard. Requests are being coordinated by the JIATF to assign available Guard resources.
“They’re already doing phenomenal work,” Gov. Justice said. “We have executed requests for 13 hospitals and we’ve got 115 guardsmen and women that are now deployed right now.
“Whenever we need our National Guard they are always there for us,” Gov. Justice continued. “So we thank them in every way.”