It has been another sobering day in West Virginia. On Thursday, November 12, 742 new cases of COVID-19 were identified within the state, bringing the three-day total to 2,323. 11 additional deaths have also been reported by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Among those confirmed deceased are an 82-year-old Wayne County man, a 65-year-old Cabell County man, a 73-year-old Mercer County man, a 69-year-old McDowell County woman, a 91-year-old Brooke County man, a 65-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 66-year-old Hancock County man, and 84-year-old Ritchie County man, a 61-year-old Kanawha County woman, an 83-year-old Barbour County woman and a 95-year-old Cabell County woman.
The total number of deaths in West Virginia related to complications stemming from COVID-19 has now reached 565.
There have been 31,639 cases within the state since the onset of the pandemic, 8,531 pf which are currently active. 339 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 104 of whom are receiving care in the ICU. 34 of those infected with the virus are being treated with ventilators. 13,883 tests were performed on Thursday, November 12, bringing the seven-day average to 10,514. West Virginia will most likely surpass 900,000 COVID-19 tests by the end of the day on Friday, November 13. The Daily positivity-rate is 4.06%, and the cumulative positivity-rate is 3.14%.
In response to the upswing in positive cases, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed several executive orders which impose additional state-wide restrictions.
“I will be issuing a mandatory order when indoors to wear face coverings in all public buildings at all times, not just when social distancing,” Justice said during his coronavirus media-briefing on Friday, November 13. “This is an ultra-mandatory requirement.”
The new requirement does not apply to children under the age of nine, those suffering with legitimate medical conditions and while consuming food at a restaurant. The requirement also does not apply to people while inside their homes. The mandate goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, November 14.
The executive order also requires businesses to post signage advising customers of the need to wear face coverings.
“The next thing to follow this is shutting up business,” Justice warned.
“If you don’t step up and follow this mandate, we will end up having to take further steps. And the next step will be closures.”
Justice advised that if customers refuse to be compliant with the mandate, that businesses should contact law enforcement.
“Call the police,” Justice said. “That’s all there is to it. They would be obstructing justice.”
Justice further stated that any business owner who chooses to not enforce the mandate would also be “obstructing justice.”
The second executive order issued by the governor was regarding county schools. Justice announced that the start all winter-season sports will be postponed until January 11, 2021. Fall-season sports will be permitted to conclude under the guidelines of the color-coded county map. In addition to this, schools in all 55 counties are required to close from the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 26 through Thursday, December 3 to allow for the CDC-recommended seven-day isolation period after attending large gatherings.