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With increased access to at-home testing kits, West Virginia to scale back free community testing events

Gov. Justice announced during his briefing on Thursday that, thanks to the access to and the convenience of at-home COVID-19 test kits, there is now less of a need for public community testing efforts.

As a result, the state will be scaling back its community testing events.

West Virginia has provided free community testing for all citizens since the beginning of the pandemic.

Testing sites will continue to be offered at pharmacies, participating local health departments, participating medical centers, and Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to all who are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19. 

“There are still plenty of places out there where you can find access to free testing. But, to be perfectly honest, what’s happening right now with our community testing events is that they’re set up all day, but maybe only two people come by,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re just spending money that could be better spent somewhere else right now. That said, if things happen to get worse, we’ll be right back out there.”
WATCH FULL BRIEFING
The federal government is also offering additional home testing kits.

“We just want to make sure that everyone knows we do have testing available still, we’re just rolling back these specific events,” said State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad. “We still have free testing available through different options.”

Dr. Amjad added that West Virginia’s online testing locations map is being updated to account for these changes.
CASE NUMBERS & VACCINE/BOOSTER INFO
On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 2,117 active cases of COVID-19 statewide, 67 fewer cases than there were during the Governor’s previous briefing on Tuesday.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.govAn updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:
Red (0) | Orange (0) Gold (0) | Yellow (24) | Green (31)
Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 23 individuals who have been confirmed to have passed away from COVID-19 since Tuesday, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and boosters.

Primary series vaccinations and a first booster dose are now encouraged for all West Virginians ages 5 and older.

A second booster dose is encouraged for all West Virginians ages 50 and older who are at least four months removed from their first booster dose, as well as certain immunocompromised individuals. All West Virginians who qualify can get a second booster dose everywhere vaccines are available.

The state’s free COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator – the only tool of its kind in the nation – has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a second booster dose.