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."
Justice indicates the numbers in #WV are not great: dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages…
The Rt number is now tied for 3rd worst in the country rt.live
Justice notes Kanawha has now gone red on the daily map
Justice announces another $6 million to help with child care for essential workers.
Justice starts to talk about some adjustments to how college students diagnosed with covid may be counted for map purposes. He hands off to Dr. Marsh
Coronavirus response coordinator Clay Marsh says there's been a conversation over past 24 to 48 hours involving the counting of college students and how to balance
Marsh says one person who has been deeply involved is Dr. Lee Smith, health officer of the Monongalia Health Department

Sounds like Smith is in today's presenter lineup
Smith now on and says local officials have looked deeply at local data.

In Mon County, 20 to 29 age range is driving the numbers, he says

And it's in Morgantown, not the western, more rural part of the county
Smith: "There is a great concern about the spread of covid from students to the general population."

"We do not see that being borne out," he says, based on data over the past few weeks
Smith: "We feel these people should be considered a single outbreak, because they're in a congregate setting" -- similarly to how nursing home patients and jail inmates are counted for map purposes
Higher education chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker says overall, college positives are relatively few
She says the best way to handle college positive results is to keep those students on campus and isolated from others
1) Students who are on-campus students who test positive and are placed together with security and monitoring should be counted as one.
2) Incentives should be given to students who are off-campus if they're willing to isolate at an on-campus facility once testing positiv
Third, Tucker says attention will be paid to the mental health of students who have to isolate
Justice says this is another great step
Justice: "It moves us more and more and more towards the finish line. And that finish line will always be the vaccine."
Justice says there's value in getting tested, especially in the counties shown as gold, orange and red.
Justice: "I've got to have tests. I've got to have bunches of tests."
Justice: "I'm going to go through the other stuff. I'm going to go through it pretty dadgum quickly."
Justice says there has been a "great meeting" with Bible Center School, which opened up this week even though Kanawha is, you know, red

"I think we're working through it without confrontation."
Justice, in a moment that seemed confusing, described a second inmate death at Mount Olive Correctional Center. More info here:
Superintendent Burch: "This is a public health map. This is a map of community spread, and we're trying to make decisions about schools based on that."
Q from @amandabarren, wanting some perspective on why Kanawha cases have been going up

Justice: "I think what you're going to find is community spread, community spread, community spread."

State Health Officer Ayne Amjad agrees
Amjad describes spread among nursing home staff and church outbreaks

"A lot of community spread is in Kanawha County right now."
Q from @stevenadamswv: "What are we doing here to ensure if they (college students) get infected that they stay in isolation wherever the designated place is."

Tucker: "You're correct the dormitory isn't a jail."
She says there are security guards at Arnold Apartments, and students have to use a swipe card if they leave. They could face punishment if they do
I asked this, although there is plenty of other stuff to ask
Justice: "You have to have a cutoff, and you're going to go both ways on it."
Justice: "We have to go with that cutoff date, and that's why you're going with that Saturday night."
time travel paradoxes blow my mind
In response to a Q by @TaylorStuckHD, Justice says first responders really need to be wearing their masks. "We need them to be wearing their mask in every way."
Q from @KennieBassWCHS: "It looks like we're lowering the bar to get to some sort of goal." "How about we just do better with our results and not have such high numbers?"
Justice: "I love Kennie to death, and Kennie's a smart, smart guy and he asks a lot of good questions all the time."
Justice says it is difficult to balance all the things. "It is one tough balancing act. That's all there is to it."
"Kennie, I love you to death and everything. And I think your questions are great. But this one you know the answer. There is no answer. You just have to do the best you can do to live with this until we get to the vaccine."
Marsh says we need to all stay together, pull the rope in the same direction.

"How you get to it is not clear, there is no playbook."
Q from @cyoungIII: When does the change at WVU with counting sequestered students as congregate cases take effect?

Marsh: "We're working to be able to do this in a very specific way."
Marsh suggests this could move Monongalia County to orange

DHHR Secretary Crouch says it's possible to make the adjustment by tomorrow
Q from @MarkCurtisWOWK asks Marsh if we can truly test 7,000 to 8,000 a day.

Justice handles it: "Without any question we can do it, and absolutely we have the resources to do it."
Q from @dbeardtdp, who asks about Mon County bar closures and whether they need help to stay afloat.

Justice: "David, we'll look at it in everything. We're trying to help in every direction we can possibly help."
Q from Paul Mullan, wondering if there could be an age category of 18-24 to be broken out for testing results. I think to indicate college age.

Crouch: "Certainly it can be done."
Christina Kass of WVVA asks where the money comes from for child care for essential workers. Justice says it's out of the CARES dollars.
Justice: "I love the economic parts of what I do because that's the way I've been trained all my life as a Business Guy."
Last question from @PhilKabler about the original Harvard map. "Who are we to kind of second guess" what they originally constructed.

Justice: "Who are we in WV to have been first in the nation to test all our nursing homes? Who are we to have stopped visitation in our n homes
Justice: "Who are we in WV to have come up with a color-code system that Dr. Birx comes in here and says how great it is?"
Justice: "In my opinion it's better, and we're going to move forward with something we think is better."
Justice: "West Virginians are damn good, and that's all I can say about it."
Justice, concluding: "Everybody's tired. There's lots of moments everybody feels alone. There's lots and lots of sleepless nights."

"West Virginia, you just go on being damn good. I'm really proud of you."

• • •

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More from @BradMcElhinny

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
15 Sep
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."
Read 61 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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