Justice gives first COVID-19 update of New Year

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gave his first semi-daily COVID-19 press briefing of the New Year at approximately 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4.

WV COVID-19 data for Jan 4, 2021 (Photo Courtesy: WV DHHR)
WV County Alert System map for Jan 4, 2021 (Photo Courtesy: WV DHHR)

As of 10 a.m. this morning, a total of 1,396 West Virginians have died due to the virus and the state has reported 91,886 total cases.

43 of West Virginia’s 55 counties are in red on today’s County Alert System map. Counties in orange include Kanawha, Mason, Fayette, Summers, McDowell, Harrison, Randolph, Tucker, and Morgan counties with Calhoun County in gold.

Of the 103,375 COVID-19 vaccine doses West Virginia has received, it has administered 52,221 doses.

Roughly 16-thousand doses of the second vaccine are available to those waiting to receive the second dose, making the vaccine 95-percent effective.

During questions from the media in today’s briefing, Gov. Justice was asked about a New Year’s Eve party celebrated at the Greenbrier Resort, owned by his family.

In a video circulated on social media it appeared guests were not wearing masks and not physically distancing.

The video was shared hundreds of times, including State Sen. William Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio, sharing to his Twitter.

Gov. Justice explained he does not run the Greenbrier’s daily operations and the post was politically-charged.

“There’s 15-hundred employees and there’s probably close to that in guests that are there, and they’re spread out and they’re absolutely doing everything under the sun. Somebody absolutely without any question is going to do something somewhere to where somebody can take a photo and then try to trash people about it,” said Justice.

The media also asked about the vaccine/antibody mix up that occurred at the Boone County Health Department on New Year’s Day.

The West Virginia National Guard explained a “break” occurred in the three-point process and since then, they have added an additional step and heightened distribution training.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer with the WVNG said, “while there’s never a 100-percent guarantee, I’m exceptionally comfortable to tell the Governor that we’re in a good place to avoid another issue like this going forward and we will continue to monitor and continue to do processing improvement going forward.”

The Governor also says the next mission is to vaccinate all educators in the state within the coming weeks. A new COVID-19 vaccine info line has launched to answer any questions West Virginia may have about the vaccine.

The number is 1-833-734-0965 and hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The vaccine info line is closed Sundays.

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