VIDEO: Justice Say No to New Mask Mandates in the Mountain State

Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.

Gov. Justice underscored the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, with case numbers continuing their sharp increase in West Virginia and even more so across the nation.

“If you’re not vaccinated today, nothing that’s going on in your life is as important,” Gov. Justice said. “Right this second, you need to run to the fire and get vaccinated, and your kids need to run to the fire with you.

“You need to put this as a number one priority in your life.”

Exactly one month ago today, West Virginia’s case total dropped to 882; it’s lowest point in over a year. However, in the time since – due in-part to the emergence of the Delta variant – cases have ballooned to 4,010; more than four times higher in just four weeks.

The number of active hospitalizations in West Virginia is now 217, up from 210 as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 32.3% are in the ICU.

“I assure you, if tomorrow we mandated masks in all public places, then we’re going to be fragmenting our people like you can’t imagine,” Justice said during a recent statewide COVID-19 update.

“I absolutely do not believe we need to mandate anything at this point in time,” Justice added, commenting on new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control recommending that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear face masks in indoor public settings in localities that are seeing surges of COVID-19 infections. According to the CDC, that would include 38 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

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