|CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the state’s latest pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts.|
|GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW COVID RELIEF PROGRAM FOR WEST VIRGINIA HOMEOWNERS|
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that a new program – called the West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program – will provide assistance to West Virginia homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19.
“If you’re a homeowner, especially if you’ve been hurting financially, you’ve got to see if you can take advantage of this program because we can come running to the rescue. Any federal dollars that are available to the state, we want to try to capitalize on that in any way we can,” Gov. Justice said. “Not only will we be able to help you, but this will also be a major stimulus for our economy, because the multiplier effect of these dollars will be enormous.”
|The program can provide assistance for past-due mortgage payments of up to $15,000, past-due utilities of up to $2,500, past-due insurance, property tax payments, and other housing costs of up to $5,000, $300 in internet assistance, and $500 of assistance on certain downpayment loans.|
The Governor was joined by Erica Boggess, Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), who further explained the details of the new program.
|“This program is designed to help homeowners that have fallen behind because of the pandemic,” Boggess said. “It’s important to note that this program is not just for people that have a mortgage loan on their home, but someone that owns their home outright who may have fallen behind on property taxes, for example, can also get some benefit from this program.|
“To be eligible for this program, your income cannot exceed 150% of the area median income for the county where you reside,” Boggess continued. “Your primary residence must be in West Virginia, and this can be a single family home, a condo, a townhouse, a mobile home, or a duplex.”
Boggess added that, to qualify, applicants must be able to demonstrate a COVID-related hardship, such as a decrease in your income, and/or an increase in expenses related to the pandemic.
The WVHDF will begin accepting applications next Monday, March 28, 2022. Online and paper applications will be available.
“I just want to encourage everybody that’s a homeowner in West Virginia, that maybe has fallen behind, please visit our website,” Boggess said. “There’s much more information there about what’s covered, what’s eligible, and how the program is going to operate, and it also has a list of the documents that you’ll need to provide when you fill out your application.”
More information: wvhdf.com/west-virginia-homeowners-rescue.
|GOV. JUSTICE UNVEILS ONLINE COVID-19 VACCINATION DUE DATE CALCULATOR|
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a free, online tool to help people learn when they may be due for a COVID-19 shot is now live at vaccinate.wv.gov.
West Virginia’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator is the first online application of its kind to calculate a COVID-19 vaccination due date for anyone at any stage of vaccination.
|“This incredibly important tool will help some people to ensure that they’re getting their booster shots,” Gov. Justice said. “I really want to thank Dr. Julia Fraustino, director of West Virginia University’s Public Interest Communication Research Lab, and WVU student Steven Lough for their efforts in creating the calculator. This is really great work coming from West Virginia University and we thank them in every way.”|
The Vaccination Due Date Calculator was made possible through the work of the Joint Interagency Task Force on COVID-19 and DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, in partnership with West Virginia University’s Public Interest Communication Research Lab.
State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh joined the Governor during the briefing to explain how West Virginians can use this important tool.
“We thought it was really important to give West Virginians this tool – which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country – to help each person to determine when it’s time to get your next dose, your booster dose, or if you’re immunocompromised, perhaps the fourth dose of vaccine,” Dr. Marsh said. “Then it gives you the opportunity to both identify when you’re due for your next vaccine and to schedule it right off the tool, or to set a reminder on your calendar so that you make sure that you get the dose of vaccine at the right time.”
|CASE NUMBERS & VACCINE/BOOSTER INFO|
On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now just 623 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; the lowest daily active case total since July 2, 2020.
Total active cases have decreased by more than 97% from their latest peak eight weeks ago.
COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov
Since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 81%, ICU patients are down 73%, and patients on ventilators are down 75%.
An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:
Red (0) | Orange (0) | Gold (0) | Yellow (2) | Green (53)
|Still, after reading the ages and locations of another five individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Friday last week, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.|
Initial series vaccinations are available for free for all West Virginians ages 5 and older and booster shots are authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. Read more about vaccines and boosters at Vaccinate.wv.gov and at CDC.gov.
|COVID-19 RESOURCES Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program|
Job Jumpstart Program
West Virginia Nursing Workforce Expansion Program Vaccine Information | Vaccinate.wv.gov
Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965
Free At-Home COVID Tests | COVIDtests.gov
COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov
WV COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-887-4304
Department of Education Updates
WV Testing Locations Map
Executive Orders & Other Actions
Donate Blood & Plasma (American Red Cross)
Local Red Cross Offices: 304-340-3650
|GOV. JUSTICE RECAPS BILL-SIGNING EVENT|
Gov. Justice also took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that, just before the start of his briefing, he hosted a ceremony to sign into law three bills designed to improve West Virginians’ lives in various ways.
Senate Bill 468 – titled the “Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act” – will prohibit medical professionals from performing abortions solely because of a disabilty in an unborn child, such as Down Syndrome, barring a medical emergency.
Senate Bill 647 will prohibit health providers from denying an individual access to an organ transplant solely because of a mental or physical disability. The bill will also compel providers to offer special accommodations to these individuals throughout the process.
The Governor was joined for the ceremony by advocates and West Virginia children with Down Syndrome, as well as their families and their advocates. Monday marked World Down Syndrome Day.
“I got to meet these kids. They are just so happy. They are such wonderful, wonderful gifts to all of us,” Gov. Justice said. “It was a great honor to be able to sign these bills into law.”
|The final bill signed by the Governor today, Senate Bill 172, will increase compensation for elected county officials across the state.|
“These bills just make us better,” Gov. Justice said. “They make us stronger as a state, they make us so proud. “I congratulate the Legislature for a lot of really good work on these initiatives.”