West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has once again called for an increased-push on COVID-19 testing.
“The more we test the more we learn. The more we test the more likely that your county comes out of the orange or red. The more we test the more likely it is that somebody isn’t going to die,” Justice said at his coronavirus media-briefing on Monday, September 21.
Gov. Justice went on to say that he has directed the W.Va. National Guard, the W.Va. Department of Health and Human Resources and local health officials to “significantly ramp-up testing in orange and red counties.”
The Governor addressed concerns regarding whether or not the state has sufficient testing supplies and man-power to maintain the 7,500 tests per-day average recommended by the W.Va. National Guard by committing to “help the local health departments with whatever resources they need. We’re going to find a way.”
There are currently 359 members of the W.Va. National Guard working in support of testing efforts across the state. At the briefing, Major-General James Hoyer confirmed that the National Guard will continue to do whatever is required of them to get closer to the desired 7,500 tests per-day.
Under the guidelines of this new aggressive testing strategy, any time a county moves into the orange or red, free testing will be offered in that county within 24-hours. Free testing will be offered until such time as the county’s numbers improve. Should a county become designated as gold, a minimum of one free testing event will be held per week in that county.
“Additional testing will significantly help your numbers when it comes to lowering your positivity rate,” the governor said. “I encourage all kids and adults to get tested. It will also help us because it will help identify some situation where we have an asymptomatic person with no idea that they have this disease, but they got it and they’re walking around spreading it to others.”
“All you’ve got to do is go do a 10-second test,” Justice said.