Justice starts and clarifies that there will also be Wednesday and Friday briefings
He describes 5 additional #WV covid-related deaths, bringing the state to 280
Justice: "We've got to in some way, as best we possibly can, assure the safety in our nursing homes."

"We've got to be super careful."
Justice notes daily percent positive is 4.15 and cumulative is 2.65

dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages…
Justice moves to The Meeting from last night
Justice: "Last night at the meeting someone brought in an email where Kentucky has basically adopted our color-code system and our plan." "Now there's a few little tweaks, but it was surely nice to see."
Justice momentarily shushes someone out of the room. "I can't hear myself think for ya'll talkin'."
Justice reiterates that he thinks the Orange range is too wide. "The difference is so dramatic that we need to change. We need to do something."
Justice says there is a new system "that is slightly tweaked" but better.

He is handing off a description to All Our Experts
Coronavirus response coordinator Clay Marsh, who agrees those at the meeting last night talked about how to make the system better.
No. 1, Marsh says, the original model "started to work in an opposite direction of what we wanted."

"Every time we get a new case, you get a little bit worse on the color-coded map."

He says the unintended message was to not test.
Marsh: "We want to increase testing."

"To make our communities safer and better, we need to accelerate testing."

Before, "It motivated people to test less."
Marsh says the Harvard model that was used as a basis, "has been made moreso for states and counties with a very consistent population basis, and ours is uneven and not really designed for rural counties."
Marsh says we'll continue to look at the infection rate, as the map is now, with the addition of the Gold color

Also, now will add a percent positive rate that will also operate on the 7-day rolling average
He says there are two ways for counties to get into the Gold: Have the infection rate go down or have percent positive rate go down.

"We want to incentivize those counties to show up to get tested more."
Marsh: "We have added that Gold category"
The Gold category calls for its own set of precautions in schools -- to be described soon by Superintendent Burch
Superintendent Burch: "For me the most important part was, how do we get more children in school"
Gold being rolled out
That gold category not up yet but will appear here in a while wvde.us/school-reentry…
This shows the counties that would be on Gold right now
Bernie Dolan of SSAC says "we want to make sure we have a whole season of events" while also trying to be cautious by monitoring attendance, etc.
Dolan says there will be further refining of what Orange means in terms of continued conditioning.

"We fully support the increased testing because that's how we're going to know the health of the community," Dolan says
Justice: "I'm going to take what they're saying and I'm going to make it in my words. My words have always been just point blank."
Justice: "I want everybody to pay close attention because I'm going to make this very, very, very plain talk."

He says yesterday's meeting was 4:30 to 8:30
Allegory about tweaks to the moon launch
Justice: "That is the prudent and the smart thing to do."
Justice says not changing "would be a bad, stubborn move."
Justice acknowledges that the prior version of the map only took positive tests into account, not negative results
He says lack of testing means there's not enough information to know what community conditions are.
Justice: "This now becomes either-or"

The daily positives or the percent positive, both on a rolling average
Justice: "Whichever one becomes the better color code is the way it's going to be."
Justice: "I'm going to continue to lead and I'm going to continue to do what's right."
Justice criticizes his General Election opponent, Ben Salango, without saying the word "Salango."
Justice on handling all this: 'It's tough stuff. Nobody has a guarantee pat answer."
Justice on red, orange or gold: "We will not permit any travel ball in those counties now."
Justice: "If it takes additional measures, we're here to do 'em."

"I strongly believe what we needed to do was tweak our color-coded system and add another bracket."
Justice: "We're going to all run across the finish line with that vaccine that we hope we get real soon."
Q from @stevenadamswv: "These don't seem like minor changes." "How does this not continue to add to the confusion out there from parents?"

Justice starts by going back to moon landing reference
Justice reiterates that Orange was too wide

"And we're trying to give some level of hope. If we lose hope we're really in trouble."
Q from @KennieBassWCHS, wanting clarification on what Orange actually means. Also asks about repeat tests by employees trying to go back to work.

Justice acknowledges the repeat test question has been an issue. "That's a potential problem and everything."
Q from @cyoungIII What resulted from discussions about WVU and sequestering students with positive test results

Justice: "I certainly discussed it for a good while last night."

"We're going to kind of defer that until tomorrow."
Q from @MarkCurtisWOWK, who says he is getting bombarded from people still not getting the revised extended unemployment

Justice: "I was told those checks would be going out first of the week. Those checks are coming."
Q from @emilythejourno "What is the state going to do to help with remote learning, or is putting more students in school the only and best option."

Burch: "Putting students in face-to-face instruction is by far the best."
But he says that doesn't alleviate responsibility to help families who have chosen to go virtual. "If they want to go virtual we're going to support them."

He notes that remote is different from virtual.
I asked this:
Justice says yesterday he had his mind up about what he wanted to do before he came to the briefing

"I love our kids, and I want goodness for our kids, our teachers, our service personnel."

"I felt with all my heart this was the right move for us to make"
Justice says it was good to see the people who gathered yesterday at the Capitol.

"I hate like crazy that they're basically yelling at their best friend."

"I'm not going to let that or any influence from D.C. or any influence to cloud my mind to make the wrong decision."
Justice: "It's a big boy job right now."

"Dag, it's tough. I mean, it's really tough."
Justice: "I'm not going to make the decision by mood. I'm not going to do that."
Q from @amandabarren, wanting clarification about what Justice means by local control. Also, wants further definition of travel ball vs. youth sports

Burch handles the first question
Burch says major decisions are being left to county superintendents and boards, who are also tweaking their plans
Dolan says the travel ball refers to tournaments with large groups brought in. He says there's an attempt for an even playing field with schools
Q from @TaylorStuckHD about how people can get more access to testing

Justice says the National Guard is going to help amp up testing. "We're going to significantly amp up our testing abilities."
Christina Kass of WVVA: When will the Gold code be enacted? And how does it affect nursing homes?

Justice says Gold goes into effect right now. He says superintendents have the choice of whether to return tomorrow or to wait until Saturday night
Justice: 'It'll be left up to the superintendents as to whether they want to immediately go back to school or wait."
Q from @dbeardtdp about making testing more accessible to people

Justice: "This is tough stuff. Everybody's got a wrinkle, and you say 'What if. What if.'"
Justice: "Parents, I know it's confusing. I know it's confusing. I don't know of any way to make it not some level of confusing."

But he describes attempts to make it as clear as possible
Justice: "That's why we come every single day, and we try to explain."

"That's why, in all honesty, it's tough to sleep. Because we know we're dealing with a situation that nobody's ever dealt with before."
Justice concludes: "We have got to be pulling the rope together. I hope and pray we will. Thank you so much for being with us today."

• • •

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More from @BradMcElhinny

16 Sep
Justice starts by describing 10 more #WV covid-related deaths, putting the state at 290 now
Justice: "Do you not feel, all across West Virginia, whether you may be in high school, or whether you may be working your career in your early 20s or you may be middle aged and your family doing great, do we not feel that some way, some how we're letting these people down?"
Justice: "I ask you please, over and over and over, please help these people. Please take the responsibility and step up. Because these people deserve it, and we're losing them."
Read 51 tweets
15 Sep
“The continued tweaking of our school reentry guidelines from day to day does not instill confidence in the system or in the leaders making the decisions."
I can't follow this either
Fayette, which hadn't yet been able to start classroom instruction, plans to start Thursday and Friday.

"We made our decision, particularly because we had an opportunity to get our students in front of us," said Fayette Superintendent Gary Hough.
Read 6 tweets
14 Sep
Justice announces 12 additional #WV covid-related deaths since Friday
Justice: "This killer attacks our elderly first and foremost."
Justice: daily positive rate is 2.69 -- "That's the lowest it's been in a while; that's good."
Read 53 tweets
13 Jul
Justice starting: "It's been a long weekend for West Virginia. We see our numbers continuing to move in a way that is not becoming of the way we want to go."
Justice cites 96th death: "We lost a West Virginian a year younger than me."

"I just can't imagine I would pick up some virus that would take my life. And yet it could. It's continued to do that all across our state."
Justice: "We need sincerity to protect your neighbors. We need to really, really be smart."
Read 44 tweets
1 May
Starting: "We've been a little late getting going. We're getting some additional slides that should give you some more valuable information."
Justice announces more deaths.

"Dag, I hate this."
Justice: "When you look back at it and all you're going to do is think about stats, the number is good."

"We had 41 deaths and now we have 46. I hate it. I just really hate it."

"I'm going to quadruple down and urge our people in every way."
Read 53 tweets
10 Jun 19
@WVGovernor About ready to start. Governor says to wait just a minute. "Hope y'all are doing good."
Justice: "What we're here about today is one thing" -- and that's Michael Bloomberg and his $500 million to lobby against coal-fired power plants plus natural gas.
Justice: "As journalists, it's really time that we get out of the drama and focus on something that could be catastrophic to the state of West Virginia."

Meaning the Bloomberg thing.
Read 43 tweets

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