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Greenbrier County issues indoor mask mandate; governor does not

Greenbrier County’s health department has issued an indoor mask mandate, effective immediately.

The order comes as covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue at record levels around the state. Gov. Jim Justice, who ordered a statewide mask mandate last year, for weeks now has said such decisions need to be made at the local level.

Drema Hill

“Greenbrier County health workers and facilities have become overwhelmed with the rise in covid cases in recent weeks and we feel it is our duty to respond,” stated Dr. Drema Hill, vice chairwoman of the Greenbrier County Board of Health.

Any individual in the county, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose while inside any building open to the public. There are exceptions for children under the age of 2, people who have trouble breathing for a documented medical reason and anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The statement was issued in collaboration with Greenbrier County commissioners, who under state law have 30 days to review the mandate.

“The other members of the county commission and I take our responsibility of protecting the residents of Greenbrier County very seriously,” stated Greenbrier County Commission President Lowell Rose.

Greenbrier County Commissioner Tammy Tincher added, “We value the opinion and work of the Greenbrier County Board of Health, and look forward to working together as we review the mask mandate.”

The county’s action comes as state figures continue to skyrocket.

West Virginia reported 57 covid-related deaths over the past couple of days, now part of the total of 3,370 over the course of the pandemic.

Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated, but again expressed fears that many aren’t listening.

“We’re going to run to the fire and get vaccinated right now or we’re going to pile the body bags up,” he said today.

Of West Virginia’s vaccine-eligible population, 60 percent are considered fully vaccinated. The most recent 7-day average for vaccinations was 1,429, about in line with a rate that has been flat for weeks.

Asked again today by WCHS-TV reporter Bob Aaron if the state should consider a universal mask mandate, who cited West Virginia’s highest number of covid cases per 100,000 over any other state in the country. Justice still said no.

“As far as how I feel right now, again it’s a balancing act to be able to keep us all moving in the right direction and keep us together. From the standpoint of the masks, the masks are not the answer; the answer is the vaccination. That’s the answer period. And there’s no point in going any further. That’s just all there is to it,” Justice said.

The governor did not address whether masks might be part of an answer — one tool among several that could slow down the current delta surge and reduce stress on medical facilities.

At the start of this month, the West Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association called on the governor to provide “clear leadership,” particularly a statewide mask mandate. The organization said face coverings are one way to suppress cases to try to avert an overload of hospitals, along with vaccinations and social distancing.

West Virginia today passed its previous pandemic record with 29,744 active cases of covid-19.

Daily hospitalizations from covid-19 were at 922, hitting a new high every day now. Of those, 82.4 percent are unvaccinated.

The state lists 277 covid patients who require the intensive care unit, another category where the state breaks its own record every day. Of those patients, 91 percent are unvaccinated.

And 169 patients are so sick they require a ventilator to breathe. The state breaks that record every day too. Of the total, 91.7 percent are unvaccinated.

“I’m going to continue to tell you to get vaccinated because I don’t know what else to do,” the governor said at today’s briefing.

Monoclonal antibody treatment

State leaders announced greater access for monoclonal antibody treatment. There are now 30 additional access points, including pharmacies and local health departments.

James Hoyer

“The antibodies are not a replacement for the vaccine, but they are a life-saving tool, particularly if we get to an individual at the appropriate time,” said James Hoyer, leader of West Virginia’s interagency task force.

The goal of the therapy is to help prevent hospitalizations, reduce viral loads and lessen symptom severity. The monoclonal antibodies are mass-produced in a laboratory and are designed to recognize the virus’s spike protein on its outer shell. The antibodies interfere with the virus’s ability to attach and gain entry to human cells. This buys the body time to mount its own fight against the virus.

Dr. Sherri Young

Kanawha County health officer Sherri Young and Kanawha County Commission President Sherri Young appeared at today’s state briefing to promote increased access to the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“While monoclonal antibodies do have their place it does not take away from the importance of getting that vaccine,” Young said.

Boosters

An advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend Pfizer’s third dose for people 65 and over and for those with compromised immunity.

The panel, in a separate vote, did not recommend booster doses for ages 16 and over.

Justice has been talking for weeks about needing federal approval for third shots. Today’s statewide briefing came prior to the FDA panel’s vote, but the governor said West Virginia would be prepared to act.

“As soon as the FDA says go on the booster shots — and we’re watching it like crazy — and if they came out of that meeting with a decision on booster shots we’d be ready to go today,” Justice said at the statewide briefing.

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State police prepare for largest crowd in Morgantown since 2019

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — State police say they’re prepared for a large crowd expected in Morgantown Saturday for the WVU-Virginia Tech match-up.

It will be the largest crowd since 2019 because of last year’s COVID-impacted season.

Veteran state police Sgt C. D. Whetzel told WAJR Radio News they will work with other area law enforcement agencies to get fans in and out of Milan Puskar Stadium quickly and safely.

“We’ll have approximately 35 troopers assigned to the traffic detail, Whetzel said. “Of course we’ll have a large contingency of troopers assigned to the stadium detail as well.”

The noon kickoff will compress traffic as compared to late afternoon or evening kickoff that can spread traffic volume out over the day, Whetzel said.

“It brings folks in more at one time. So, traffic coming into the game becomes a little more centralized and that’s why we recommend allowing yourself a little more time in the morning to get here.”

According to Whetzel, police are looking at plans from last week, but they understand more fans and a Hokie fan base that will likely travel well means more traffic at the beginning and end of the day.

“There were approximately 45,000 fans at the last game and we’re looking at a capacity crowd of 60,000-plus this week,” Whetzel said.

Law enforcement agencies will also patrol the greater Morgantown area during the game, and after when post-game get togethers are expected.

“In an emergency we can of course hold those troopers from the stadium to assist with traffic or any large issues that we would have. So, we do have extra troopers in the area.”

Whetzel said motorists can help with traffic flows leaving the game by using Route 705 across the Mileground and to I-68.

Football fans and revelers can expect a zero tolerance response throughout day when it comes to celebrations and tailgate parties.

“Please don’t get on the roadways if you’ve been drinking,” Whetzel said. “Use a designated driver, call someone- do what you need to do.”

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WVU to continue with ‘best and most effective’ strategy against COVID-19

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Board of Governors met Friday and passed on implementing a vaccine mandate.

Rob Alsop

University officials told board members mitigation strategies are working, vaccination numbers are up and rates of infection are much lower than last year.

WVU Vice President Rob Alsop said vaccination rates on campus are still climbing. He said there have been productive conversations with the Faculty Assembly which asked for a vaccine mandate effective Jan. 1, 2021. Despite an additional calls for a mandate from the Student Government Association, Alsop said the current strategy will remain in place.

“Our best and most effective strategy will be to continue to convince folks because there’s a lot vaccine hesitancy out there,” Alsop said. “Hopefully that hesitancy will wane when folks continue to see these vaccine safe very safe and very effective.”

When the Delta variant began to sweep across the state, WVU officials raised the vaccination goal from 70% to 85%. Campus efforts to educate have resulted in about 77% of students and 74% of employees getting the shot.

“Almost 92% of our instructors are vaccinated, our residence hall students are at 79%,” Alsop said. “I give our Greek leadership a lot of credit, they set out to have their group highly vaccinated. They were a group where there was a lot of spread of COVID last year- we have not seen that this year.”

Alsop said isolation numbers have dropped about 47% from last year relieving much of the staff burden. Lower numbers also mean less contact tracing which has been a very labor intensive process in areas with high infection rates. Additionally, this year many more activities are open like Up All Night and WVU Recreation Center.

“About this point in time last year we had paused and moved all our courses online because of the skyrocketing cases,” Alsop said. “This year paints a different picture even though we have a lot more activity on our campus. Last year we had more than 900 in quarantine and this year we have less than 200.”

WVU Provost Maryanne Reed

WVU Provost Maryanne Reed told the BOG it’s been a team effort between students and faculty to maintain academic progress one year after the infection rate sent all classes online.

“We are again asking our instructors to be patient and flexible with our students and provide them with reasonable accommodations, providing them class notes or allowing them to make up assignments because we don’t want students to feel pressured to come to class if they aren’t feeling well,” Reed said.

Classrooms are still equipped with plexiglass barriers, masks are again mandatory in indoor areas and social distancing remains an important part of the mitigation strategy.

WVU will continue with its regular fall schedule including a two day fall break, Oct. 7-8, and a full week off at Thanksgiving.

“I think our kids and the president has indicated it- they are thrilled to be back,” Alsop said. “Our results from our protections have been good and if we have to move additionally from this comprehensive strategy we’ll do so.”

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East Carolina at Marshall: What to watch for

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall and East Carolina renew a rivalry no longer played on an annual basis at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The contest at Joan C. Edwards Stadium will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

Marshall and ECU have met 15 times, with the Pirates holding a 10-5 edge in the series. The last time the teams clashed was in Huntington in November 2013, a 59-28 Marshall win that clinched a Conference USA East Division title for the Thundering Herd.

Unfortunately, the most remembered matchup in series history took place on November 14, 1970 in Greenville, North Carolina. ECU won 17-14, and later that night, the charter jet carrying the Marshall team back to Huntington crashed near Tri-State Airport, resulting in the death of 75 Marshall football players, coaches, administrators and others.

East Carolina (0-2) is coached by Mike Houston, who is 7-16 in three seasons in Greenville. Houston previously was the head coach at James Madison, where he led the Dukes to the 2016 NCAA FCS national title. The Pirates have suffered a 33-19 loss at Appalachian State and fell at home last Saturday to South Carolina, 20-17.

Under first-year head coach Charles Huff, Marshall (2-0) has posted convincing wins over Navy and North Carolina Central.

Here are some things to watch for in Saturday’s game:

Pirates’ Desperation

After a disappointing start, the Pirates are looking for some success. A road win at Marshall could give ECU the boost that Houston is seeking.

Houston is confident ECU isn’t seeking sympathy despite the 0-2 start.

“They’re very motivated and they’re very excited for this matchup this Saturday,” Houston said. “We’ve played two really good football teams. They know we have a good football team. They know we have a tall task, but also have a great opportunity.”

How does Marshall contain Houston Ahlers?

Marshall’s defense has allowed 17 points in two games, but will face a tougher challenge against an East Carolina offense led by four-year starting quarterback Houston Ahlers.

East Carolina quarterback Holton Ahlers poses a challenge to the Marshall defense. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates, despite entering averaging 18 points, likely have the best offensive talent the Herd defenders have faced to this point in the season.

ECU jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the Gamecocks last week, but the offense stalled in the second half. Ahlers also threw a late first-half interception that South Carolina returned for a touchdown.

Dropped passes and poor line protection hasn’t helped the ECU cause.

Despite the Pirates’ problems, Huff is well aware of the challenges Ahlers presents.

“You can see he’s a veteran. He doesn’t get rattled,” Huff said. “He’s got poise, whether he made a good pass, threw a touchdown or got sacked, he came right back with the same demeanor.”

The Pirates are also hopeful Keaton Mitchell and Rahjai Harris, a pair of freshmen running backs, can help lessen the load for Ahlers.

Be ready from the jump

Marshall’s offense got off to a ragged start in last week’s 44-10 win over North Carolina Central of the FCS.

Quarterback Grant Wells fumbled a snap on the opening possession and the offense looked out of sorts.

Coach Huff blamed the poor start on lackadaisical practice efforts and bad habits they create. Huff wants his team be on the attack Saturday against ECU, much like the Thundering Herd was in a 49-7 season-opening win at Navy.

The job could be made tougher by a Pirates defense’ that forced three first-half turnovers last week.

Huff is wary of the ECU defense.

“These guys run to the ball — they strike,” he said. “They do a phenomenal job of getting the ball out. We’ve overemphasized that they put an emphasis on getting the ball out, whether that’s attacking the ball in the air for interceptions or ripping the ball out from the runner.”

MU has fumbled six times in two games, but has only lost possession once. Wells has also thrown three of the team’s four interceptions.

Notes

A reunion of Marshall’s 1971 “Young Thundering Herd” team is taking place this weekend. Members of that squad were MU players not on the plane back from Greenville in 1970, plus players who were recruited or added to the squad by coach Jack Lengyel. Marshall was also given permission to play freshmen in 1971, a move prohibited elsewhere in college football. The story of the “Young Thundering Herd” was told in the movie “We Are Marshall” starring Matthew McConaughey … Among FBS teams, Marshall ranks 12th in scoring offense, fifth in scoring defense, fifth in total offense, third in passing offense and second in passing defense … East Carolina was a 17-year member of Conference USA and was 7-3 against the Herd in the 10 years both schools were part of the league. The Pirates joined the American Athletic Conference after the 2013 season, along with other former C-USA members Tulsa, UCF, Tulane, Houston and Memphis.

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Kanawha doctor charged as part of nationwide health care fraud investigation

CHARLESTON,W.Va. — The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday that it has filed criminal charges against 42 health care professionals in 31 districts across the country for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes that resulted in approximately $1.4 billion in alleged losses.

Forty-two doctors and nurses are among those charged including a doctor who practices in South Charleston.

Federal prosecutors allege Dr. Alexander Otellin, 54, of Charleston, unlawfully distributed amphetamine salts (Adderall) and alprazolam (Xanax) over a six-month period. Otellin allegedly prescribed the drugs outside accepted medical practices and legitimate medical purposes.

Otellin is a psychiatry specialist.

Charges against other doctors and nurses include alleged $1.1 billion in telemedicine fraud, $29 million in COVID-19 health care fraud, $133 million connected to “sober homes” and $160 million connected to other health care fraud.

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Two Wheeling residents charged in 2018 triple murder

WHEELING, W.Va. — Two Wheeling residents have been indicted by an Ohio County Grand Jury on murder charges in connection with a high-profile 2018 homicide case.

According to the Wheeling Police Department, the grand jury returned an indictment on Monday on Gerald Wayne Jako, Jr., 36 of Wheeling and Dana Marie Bowman, 33 of Wheeling on three counts of murder and two counts of concealing a deceased human body. The charges are in connection with the 2018 deaths Trevor Vossen, Lauren “LuLu” Jenkins and her unborn child. Jenkins was several months pregnant.

On Aug. 15, 2018, dismembered and burned human remains were found along Sullivan Road, a rural area in Raleigh County. The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office investigated, and later that month, the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the burned remains, identified via dental records, were Vossen and Jenkins.

Based on the investigation, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger has said that detectives believe that Vossen and Jenkins were lured to a house in Wheeling, murdered, their bodies dismembered and then transported to Raleigh County to be destroyed by fire.

Jako currently is serving a prison sentence on unrelated charges at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Mount Olive. Bowman was arrested Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wyandot County, Ohio, Wheeling Police said. She currently is incarcerated at the Seneca County, Ohio Jail.

On June 25, Wheeling Police and the Ohio County Prosecutors office held a joint news conference to discuss details of the Aug. 13, 2018 homicide case in an effort to further the investigation.

Authorities believed that with Jako’s affirmed conviction earlier that month, people in the public with information would be more willing to come forward. According to the Wheeling Police Department, tips following that press conference led to effective information, which was presented to the grand jury that convened as regularly scheduled this past Monday.

“This week’s indictment means we are a step further in this case, but our work continues,” said Schwertfeger in a release. “Thanks to the ongoing support from our community and local news outlets, law enforcement successfully gathered additional information to obtain a grand jury indictment in this years-long case.

“Once again, I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Prosecutors Office, the Raleigh County, W.Va. Sheriff’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners.”

Bowman will return to West Virginia after an extradition hearing in Ohio. Both will be then arraigned in front of an Ohio County circuit court judge at a later time.

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West Virginia hits new peak in active COVID-19 cases

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia hit a new pandemic peak in active COVID-19 cases Friday, according to case numbers released by the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

There are now 29,744 active cases. The previous peak was 29,257 which was reached on Jan. 10, 2021.

The DHHR has confirmed 2,320 new cases in the past 24 hours.

The agency is also reporting 57 COVID-19 deaths including 18 that were not previously reported as deaths caused by the virus.

The 18 that were added after review of death certificates include a 52-year old female from Wayne County, a 99-year old female from Monongalia County, an 81-year old male from Mercer County, a 43-year old male from Berkeley County, an 88-year old male from Kanawha County, an 88-year old female from Summers County, an 83-year old male from Morgan County, a 68-year old female from Greenbrier County, a 49-year old male from Cabell County, an 88-year old male from Pleasants County, a 62-year old male from Kanawha County, an 85-year old male from Mineral County, a 63-year old male from Kanawha County, an 80-year old female from Wayne County, a 97-year old female from Greenbrier County, an 84-year old female from Preston County, a 58-year old male from Raleigh County, and an 88-year old female from Mineral County.

DHHR reports as of September 17, 2021, there have been 3,664,554 total confirmatory laboratory results received for #COVID19, with 219,439 total cases and 3,370 total deaths. https://t.co/tpYYX3HOWr pic.twitter.com/Z7s5XKHHmr

— WV Department of Health & Human Resources • 😷 (@WV_DHHR) September 17, 2021

The 39 additional deaths reported by the agency Friday include a 75-year old male from Clay County, a 95-year old male from Monongalia County, an 84-year old male from Raleigh County, a 61-year old male from Mercer County, an 85-year old female from Tucker County, a 70-year old female from Barbour County, a 67-year old male from Wood County, a 45-year old male from Wood County, a 76-year old male from Morgan County, a 63-year old male from Harrison County, a 70-year old male from Mercer County, a 50-year old female from Greenbrier County, a 47-year old male from Mercer County, a 56-year old male from Monongalia County, a 54-year old male from Wayne County, a 59-year old female from Barbour County, an 84-year old female from Mingo County, an 80-year old male from Lincoln County, an 89-year old female from Monongalia County, a 67-year old male from Mingo County, a 73-year old female from Mason County, a 91-year old male from Kanawha County, an 87-year old female from Wirt County, an 83-year old male from Brooke County, a 77-year old male from Monongalia County, a 63-year old female from Mason County, a 52-year old female from Wood County, a 92-year old male from Mercer County, a 50-year old female from Randolph County, a 73-year old male from Mercer County, a 69-year old female from Ohio County, a 78-year old female from Cabell County, a 74-year old female from Wetzel County, a 49-year old male from Cabell County, an 84-year old male from Greenbrier County, a 63-year old female from Mercer County, an 86-year old female from Kanawha County, an 81-year old female from Kanawha County, and a 71-year old male from Logan County.

Overall COVID-19 deaths are now at 3,370.

COVID-19 numbers continue to increase daily in West Virginia. How are WVU hospitals handling this surge? Albert Wright, President and CEO of WVU Medicine, explains what’s going on to @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/6WIfVKBwlk

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 17, 2021

New hospitalization numbers confirmed by MetroNews Friday morning include 922 patients in hospitals across the state with 277 patients in ICU and 169 of them on ventilators. All three hospital numbers are pandemic highs.

Albert Wright
Photo/WVU Medicine

“Those numbers are scary and they tell the story,” WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright said Friday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.” “It’s a very challenging time for folks.”

Wright said nine of WVU Medicine’s 18 hospitals are operating in “crisis mode.”

“We had to pull some levers this week to try and make room for patient capacity,” Wright said. “We’ve slowed down surgeries that result in an in-person admission after the surgery.”

Forty-four of the state’s 55 counties are in the ‘red’ in the state’s daily alert map.

The state DHHR reports 30,234 vaccinations have been administered in the last 10 days.

Overall confirmed cases per county include: Barbour (2,249), Berkeley (15,684), Boone (2,871), Braxton (1,602), Brooke (2,701), Cabell (12,485), Calhoun (753), Clay (967), Doddridge (934), Fayette (4,879), Gilmer (1,118), Grant (1,741), Greenbrier (4,028), Hampshire (2,518), Hancock (3,400), Hardy (2,054), Harrison (8,315), Jackson (2,992), Jefferson (5,805), Kanawha (20,333), Lewis (2,238), Lincoln (2,205), Logan (4,466), Marion (6,098), Marshall (4,559), Mason (2,961), McDowell (2,256), Mercer (7,059), Mineral (3,807), Mingo (3,772), Monongalia (11,067), Monroe (1,812), Morgan (1,676), Nicholas (2,795), Ohio (5,334), Pendleton (972), Pleasants (1,206), Pocahontas (927), Preston (3,849), Putnam (7,148), Raleigh (9,474), Randolph (4,304), Ritchie (1,137), Roane (1,048), Summers (1,168), Taylor (1,759), Tucker (835), Tyler (1,127), Upshur (3,254), Wayne (4,463), Webster (854), Wetzel (2,076), Wirt (648), Wood (10,672), Wyoming (2,984).

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Williamstown woman indicted on two counts of murder

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — A Williamstown woman has been indicted by the Wood County Grand Jury for murder.

Hillary Dennison

Hillary Dennison was taken into custody on February 28, the day of the shooting deaths of her father, Harold Dennison, and her fiancée, Beau Wasmer, on Sunshine Mountain Road outside Williamstown. She was indicted Thursday on two counts of murder.

Court documents show Dennison admitted in an interview to shooting at her father, which resulted in the deaths of both men.

During the arraignment, Dennison was denied bond. She is still in the North Central Regional Jail.

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Video, updates: Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 3 p.m.

We’ll provide updates here about how West Virginia is dealing with the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

State officials have directed members of the public to a landing page dedicated to information about coronavirus in West Virginia.

Additional information can be found at CDC’s Situation Summary or at DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline, 1-800-887-4304.

7:39 a.m. 9/17/2021 Justice to lead 3 p.m. briefing about pandemic response

10:23 a.m. 9/15/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response 

7:41 a.m. 9/13/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

8:24 a.m. 9/10/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:52 a.m. 9/8/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

6:25 a.m. 9/6/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:14 a.m. 9/3/2021 Briefing at noon over West Virginia pandemic response 

9:08 a.m. 9/1/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

9:51 a.m. 8/30/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

7:52 a.m. 8/27/21 U.S. Education Secretary joins Justice at briefing 

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch will also join the briefing.

WHAT: Governor Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts, and make a back-to-school vaccination initiative announcement.

10:14 a.m. 8/25/21 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

https://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cIIhttps://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cII

10:10 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 11:00 a.m.

8:17 a.m. Governor leads briefing about pandemic response at 11:30 a.m. 

7:36 a.m. Governor leads pandemic briefing at 11:30 a.m. 

8:56 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic 

9:44 a.m. Governor Justice to lead noon briefing about pandemic

10:54 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

8:12 a.m. Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. Superintendent Burch and SSAC chief Dolan join Justice for 11 a.m. briefing

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

WHAT: Gov. Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts and provide an update on back-to-school plans for West Virginia.

LATER: At 2 p.m. the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will host a press conference to provide details on back-to-school guidance for the 2021-22 school year.

Burch, WVBE Vice President Tom Campbell and Dolan will address the media following Governor Jim Justice’s briefing earlier in the day.

10:15 a.m. 8/02/2021  Governor provides update about covid response at 10:30 a.m. 

8:35 a.m. 7/29/2021 Governor provides update about covid response at 11 a.m.

8:29 a.m. 07/27/2021 Justice provides update about pandemic response at 11 a.m.

11:03 a.m. 07/22/2021 Governor Justice scheduled for 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

12:38 p.m. 07/20/2021 Governor Justice to lead pandemic update at 1 p.m. 

10:06 a.m. 7/16/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

11 a.m. 7/13/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:35 a.m. 7/8/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

11:25 a.m. 7/6/2021  Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11:30

9:24 a.m. 7/1/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

8:53 a.m. 6/29/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

12:20 p.m.  06/24/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 12:30 p.m. 

10:55 a.m.  06/22/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 11:30 a.m.

10:50 a.m. 6/17/2021  Justice pandemic briefing set for 11 a.m.

11:05 a.m. 6/15/2021 Justice pandemic briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. 

7:40 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice waits outside development announcement because of covid exposure

Gov. Jim Justice offered video greetings from his vehicle at an economic development announcement in Morgantown on Wednesday with the governor saying he’d had an unanticipated covid-19 exposure.

Justice has been very public about his full vaccination but said he wanted to set a good example by remaining in the vehicle. Otherwise, he said, he would have needed a rapid test and a mask.

He appeared via streaming video and offered remarks at an announcement for an artificial intelligence company getting established in Morgantown. Clay Marsh, West Virginia University’s executive dean for health sciences, made the opening remarks as a substitute for Justice.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“He would be here standing in my place had it not been for a very unexpected exposure that he had recently to somebody who tested positive for covid-19,” said Marsh, who is also the state’s coronavirus response coordinator.

“And even though the governor is aware that he is fully vaccinated, he is really 100 percent protected against having any kind of problem with this — even with that understanding, and he does understand that well, given his experience we’ve all had with covid-19, he wanted to make sure he was working with an abundance of concern.”

Justice then appeared on a screen for everyone to see, wearing a checked shirt and leaning over to talk into a camera, with the interior roof of the vehicle as his backdrop.

“I landed here about an hour ago. I’m sitting out in the parking lot in front of you right now. I mean, I could throw a rock and hit all of you,” Justice said. “I hate like crazy that I’m out here in the parking lot. Believe me be.”

Offering some background, Justice said he had experienced a covid exposure on Friday and was informed about it on Wednesday.

“When I landed they told me I was exposed on Friday evening to someone. They told me they felt like I needed to be tested. And if that be the case, I don’t think I need to be in there until we know the results of the test. But I’m sure it’s fine. I feel fine, and I hate like crazy I’m not with you.”

7:37 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 2 p.m. 

10:20 a.m. 6/8/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:23 a.m. 6/3/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:22 a.m. 6/1/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

1:59 p.m. 5/27/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 4:30 p.m.

10:20 a.m. 5/25/2021  Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m. 5/20/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 1:20 p.m. 

12:19 p.m. 5/17/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 1 p.m.

10:32 a.m. 5/14/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at noon

11:45 a.m.  5/12/2021  Justice leads pandemic update

10:25 a.m. 5/10/2021  Justice leads pandemic update 

9:29 a.m. 5/7/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 11:30 a.m.

9:16 a.m. 5/5/2020 Justice leads noon briefing about covid response

8:04 a.m. 5/3/2020 Justice provides latest on pandemic response at 11 a.m.

8:04 a.m. 4/30/2020 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

11:05 a.m. 4/28/2021 Pandemic briefing by Justice at 2:45 p.m. 

12:45 p.m. 4/26/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

7:59 a.m. 4/23/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

11:55 a.m. 4/21/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon

11:55 a.m. 4/19/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon.

10:25 a.m. 4/16/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

10:25 a.m.  4/14/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

11:54 a.m. 4/12/2021 Justice to address pandemic response at noon 


11:35 a.m.  4/09/2021  Justice to have back to back briefings beginning at noon (income tax/COVID)

10:15 a.m.  4/07/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/05/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/02/2021   Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/29/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.  3/26/2021  Justice briefing at 9 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  3/24/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/22/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:20 a.m. 3/19/2021  Justice briefing 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/17/2021  Justice briefing 10:45 a.m.

11:15 a.m.  3/15/2021  Justice briefing at 11:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/12/2021 Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 3/10/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m. 3/8/2021  Justice briefing set for 10:30 a.m.

10:55 a.m. 3/5/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

This briefing was originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m. but now has been shifted to 11

;

10:32 a.m. 2/19/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

6:52 a.m. 2/17/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

9:30 a.m. 2/15/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 

9:03 a.m. 2/12/2021 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:30 a.m. 2/10/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11 a.m.

11:58 a.m. 2/8/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:48 a.m.  2/5/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11:30 

11:05 a.m.  2/3/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:34 a.m. Justice to lead briefing at noon 

10:34 a.m. 1/29/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:39 a.m. 1/27/21 Manchin applauds federal effort to increases vaccine supply

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released a statement about the announcement from the Biden Administration about increasing the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccinations to states and territories next week. The administration will also increase transparency by giving states a three week forecast of vaccine supplies.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration shows that help is on the way. I thank President Biden for staying true to his word and delivering more vaccine so quickly and will continue to work closely with him to further increase our allocation. West Virginia is leading the country in efficiently and safely distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics across our state have been operating below capacity because of the vaccine shortage. Now President Biden will ship out at least 10 million doses each week to get more shots in arms as soon as possible. Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is another step closer to ensuring every West Virginian who wants a vaccine can get one, restoring our economy, and getting back to life as usual. In the last week, I have spoken with President Biden and multiple White House officials who have assured me the number one priority for the Administration is quickly producing and efficiently distributing the vaccine. I’m glad to see them put their money where their mouth is and ramp up vaccine distribution.”

9 a.m. 1/25/21 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

12:07 p.m. 1/21/21 Justice plans noon briefing 

9:56 a.m. 1/19/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

8:51 a.m. 1/13/2021 Justice plans 10 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/i4kQb1qU8N

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 13, 2021

8:49 a.m. 1/11/2021 Justice plans noon briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/Dw7fbZbuev

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 11, 2021

11:31 a.m. 1/8/2021 Justice plans noon briefing 

livestream here https://t.co/jN45H6LHG6

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 8, 2021

7:54 a.m. 1/6/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

here is the livestream https://t.co/Khcw32yYBv

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 6, 2021

6:59 a.m. 1/4/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/6YB4IooQpY

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 4, 2021

The post Video, updates: Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 3 p.m. appeared first on WV MetroNews.

Source: WV MetroNews

West Virginia visits defending national champion Marshall in Top 10 clash

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia brings a slightly higher national ranking and an undefeated record, while Marshall counters with the status of defending national champion. The No. 4 Mountaineers (4-0-1) visit No. 6 Marshall (3-1-1) Friday evening in one of the most highly-anticipated men’s soccer fixtures in West Virginia in recent memory.

Collectively, WVU head coach Dan Stratford and Marshall frontman Chris Grassie built the University of Charleston into a Division II national champion. Now they line up on opposing ends of the pitch in a top ten contest.

A top 10 matchup in Huntington! @DanStrats joins @Bradhowe07 and @Hunterwvu88bgn ahead of @WVUMenssoccer‘s matchup with defending National Champs @HerdMSoccer
WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/MiQeme8NVv

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 16, 2021

“He is one of my closest friends. He was a great boss for me at Charleston. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him,” Stratford said.

“We have been texting back and forth all week and one of the things we have alluded to is that it is not often that you get to coach against a really good friend and someone I really, really respect as a coach, with both teams being ranked in the top ten. Rather than be nervous or have any anxiety going in, I think we are both going to try to enjoy it, quite honestly.”

West Virginia has posted wins over nationally-ranked foes Pittsburgh, Penn State and Ohio State in the opening weeks of the season. WVU has had a full week to prepare for the Herd, their longest rest to this point in the season.

“We keep a close eye on our GPS numbers, metrics and data that we are tracking to see exactly how far the guys are running. And the effort to start the season has been incredible. It needed to be to get us off to such a good start. 

“A couple of tactical sessions are quite hard to come by, honestly. Often it is a recovery session, a pre-match session and then somewhere in between there is a day off.”

The WVU men’s soccer team warms up (Photo by Joe Brocato)

Both teams return similar lineups from when they met in Morgantown on March 24. West Virginia prevailed 1-0, handing Marshall one of their two losses in the spring season.

“It is a very similar eleven to what we played with Marshall last time. We are still playing the same formation. And I know Chris. I know he will be prepared for us and I know he will have studied us just as we have them. Unless he is looking to throw a curve ball our way, or vice versa, I think we will both feel well-prepared for one another.

“It was somewhat of a guessing game going into the spring of where our program was, comparative to the national stage and comparative to the rest of Division I.

“That barometer was important as we went through that spring, but no game obviously more important than Marshall knowing what they had come off the back of in 2019 and knowing now what they have achieved. I think it gives this group a ton of belief.”

Marshall has announced that only standing room tickets are available at Hoops Family Field. WVU will be playing in just their second road match of the season.

“As great as it is do it in front of your own fans, I have some incredible memories of going to some places in hostile environments, UConn away, Maryland away, winning those games. What a feeling it was to leave the stadium and know that you have been the party poopers, so to speak.”

In five matches, the Mountaineers have yielded just two goals.

“I really do think it has been the collective eleven on the pitch at any one time that has helped us in some of those defensive elements.”

The post West Virginia visits defending national champion Marshall in Top 10 clash appeared first on WV MetroNews.

Source: WV MetroNews