Justice gives pandemic update as WV death toll surpasses 600

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is giving an update on the status of COVID-19 in the Mountain State at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.

At his semi-daily briefing Monday, Justice urged West Virginians to follow COVID-19 guidelines, especially when it comes to wearing masks.

“I need you to wear your mask. I need you to just wear your mask. I know it’s a pain in the butt, I know that. But I need you to wear your mask,” Justice said Monday.

The plea came as COVID-19 numbers across the state continue to rise, and follows multiple executive orders the governor announced Friday, including updates to the state’s mask mandatepostponing winter sportsextending in-person school closures for Thanksgiving break to allow for more time to quarantine and canceling concert band festivals for the rest of the year as well as spring band festivals.

As of this morning Wednesday, Nov. 18, health officials are reporting 953 new COVID-19 cases and 14 additional deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 36,277 cases and 612 deaths. The number of West Virginians hospitalized also continues to climb, with 429 currently in the hospital, compared to 400 yesterday.

The number of counties in green on the County Alert System map continues to dwindle, with only 10 in the green. Jackson, Marshall and Mineral counties are red, and Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, Hardy, Barbour, Randolph, Wood, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne and Boone counties are orange. 16 counties are gold and 11 are yellow.

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