Eighteen outbreaks of Covid-19 stemming from church services have been reported in parts of West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said.
According to the governor, 13 counties —Berkeley, Doddridge, Harrison, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Putnam, Upshur, Wayne, Wetzel, and Wood — have reported the outbreaks.
“We all know that church is a place that absolutely this killer can really thrive. We're singing, we love to see all those that we love and that are in our church family with us. It's an absolute place where a lot of our elderly go and we've got to wear a mask, stay a pew apart, and from the standpoint of our elderly, you can get your services online or something like that,” Justice said.
The governor also reported 43 outbreaks at long-term care facilities and 12 new cases at three correctional facilities. Justice said schools have reported 19 outbreaks with 59 confirmed cases.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported 212 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the active case total to 5,095. To combat the rising case numbers, the West Virginia National Guard has distributed over 19 million pieces of personal protective equipment to all 55 counties, the governor said.