CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We’re pushing the right buttons to keep this thing under control and away from us,” Gov. Justice said. “But we’ve got to remember just this: we are the highest risk state of all.
“Don’t go in a crowd,” Gov. Justice continued. “Wash your hands, stay at home as much as you can. The sun is shining. We’re better off today than we were yesterday. If we can get more days under our belt soon, we hope and pray in every way, shape, form, or fashion that this will pass.”
STATEWIDE DAY OF PRAYER TO BE HELD TODAY AT NOON:
During the briefing, Gov. Justice reminded all West Virginians that a virtual Day of Prayer service will be broadcast statewide tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at noon.
“I really urge everyone to watch it and surely pray with us,” Gov. Justice said. “God above will hear us. He will be the one to get us through this.”
Leaders from a diverse range of religious backgrounds will take part in the virtual service, providing an opportunity for all West Virginians, no matter their religious denomination, to come together in a time of reflection and prayer.
More details on how to watch the statewide Day of Prayer service will be released later today.
WEST VIRGINIA FIRST STATE TO BEGIN MANUFACTURING DRUG TO POTENTIALLY TREAT COVID-19:
Gov. Justice also spotlighted new efforts underway at Mylan’s manufacturing facility in West Virginia to produce hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets.
“They’re the first in the country that’s now manufacturing this product and it’s right here in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “Mylan, we’re really proud of what you’re doing, we thank you in every way, and I couldn’t be more proud of the fact you’re from West Virginia.”
The drug, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of other conditions, is currently being investigated by the World Health Organization to determine its potential effectiveness in treating COVID-19.
CONSOLIDATED SUPPLY CENTER CREATED:
During today’s briefing, West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer announced that, at the direction of the Governor, the WVNG has created a consolidated supply center. The National Guard is working alongside the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources as well as the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to help ensure equipment needs between healthcare workers and emergency responders are being met.
COVID-19 CASE UPDATE:
Gov. Justice also announced that members of the West Virginia National Guard performed additional COVID-19 testing at a nursing home in Monongalia County after a positive case was recently identified there.
“That was surely one of the reasons – the biggest reason – why we moved forward with the ‘Stay At Home’ order,” Gov. Justice said. “It is surely concerning when you have community transmission and that’s what we’ve got going on right now.
“All of our health teams have been working and are still working to ensure those in that nursing home, as well as those that are in other nursing homes, are as safe as they can be.”
Nearly two weeks ago, on Thursday, March 12, 2020, Gov. Justice announced he would be asking all nursing homes to restrict visitors, with exceptions for end-of-life or serious illness situations, in efforts to make sure residents were as safe as possible.
“I thank God every day in the world that we did it and we did it long ago when it was meaningful,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a really tough thing to do – when you tell somebody you can’t go see their mom or your dad – that’s tough stuff. And it’s really meaningful for those in the nursing home to be able to get those visits. But I think, really and truly, we made the right call there.”
STATE PROCESSING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS:
The Governor also announced that work continued around the clock to process new unemployment claims for individuals who are out of work, separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19.
The Governor says that staff with Workforce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce processed approximately 7,000 of these claims yesterday alone.
Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented last week by President Donald J. Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.