Gov. Justice looking for ways to offer more virus tests

Gov. Justice wears facemask

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wants to further expand the availability of testing for the coronavirus.

Free COVID-19 testing is being conducted in 36 of West Virginia’s 55 counties through Nov. 3. Justice said Monday that he plans to meet with his virus response team to discuss ways to offer even more locations.

“I just really get the feeling in my gut that we need to step it up one more notch regarding our testing,” Justice said.

Justice has pushed for aggressive testing over the past few months to identify people who otherwise may not be showing symptoms before they spread the virus to others.

The state surpassed 200 positive daily virus cases for the first time on Aug. 30. It has hit that mark 23 times since.

At least 424 residents have died from the virus since the pandemic began. A record 215 people were hospitalized for the virus Sunday, health officials said.