Coronavirus Update: W.Va. Gov. Justice urges action, takes none as number of confirmed cases grows

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a rambling Saturday night address to the state, Gov. Jim Justice didn’t order a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses or order residents to stay in their homes unless necessary to leave, as governors in California, Illinois and New York state have done.

The inaction came despite Justice saying in the same speech that waiting to act will mean more people will die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

He even said West Virginia’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 6 p.m. Saturday — the state now has 12 — is proportionate to what New York had 10 days ago. New York ordered its lockdown Friday, The Associated Press reported.

“Think where we could end up 10 days from today,” he said.

Instead of ordering a shutdown, Justice mentioned it as something that may happen if people don’t follow public health officials’ previous recommendations to stay away from others as much as possible. He said he has heard of gatherings in bingo halls. …

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