On Tuesday, the day before Gov. Jim Justice had scheduled a major economic development announcement and before delivering his State of the State address to open the 60-day West Virginia legislative calendar, he received a positive test for Covid-19.
The governor, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, was experiencing moderate symptoms and was isolating at home, though he was quoted in a press release saying, “I feel extremely unwell at this point.”
Confirmatory testing was performed by the West Virginia State Lab with an additional positive result.
Upon recommendation from his physicians, the governor was to receive a course of monoclonal antibody treatment Tuesday night.
Justice is being treated by several physicians, including Dr. Clay Marsh, the state Covid-19 czar.
Everyone whom the governor has been in close contact with over the past few days is being notified. West Virginia first lady Cathy Justice tested negative Tuesday evening.
Gov. Justice was in communication with his chief of staff and office staff to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly.
The governor’s State of the State address, scheduled for Wednesday, was delivered by written message to the West Virginia Legislature to satisfy constitutional requirements.
The governor will deliver an address to the West Virginia Legislature at a later date.
“While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I’m thankful to the Lord above that I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family,” Gov. Justice said.
“That being said, I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature. I woke up this morning with congestion and a cough. A little while later, I developed a headache and fever, so I decided to get tested right away.”
The governor did not indicate where he may have been infected.
“The rapid test that I took came back negative, but by the late afternoon, my symptoms were still getting much worse. My blood pressure and heart rate were extremely elevated, and I had a high fever,” the governor said in a press release.
“Finally, my PCR test results this evening confirmed I was positive. Because of all this, I began receiving my antibody treatment and I hope this will lessen these symptoms.
“For this to happen just one night before the State of the State – knowing I won’t be able to be there – saddens me. There are so many great things happening in West Virginia right now.
“So I apologize in every way for not being able to join you tomorrow night, and I especially apologize to all our invited guests who are having to change their plans. I’ll be back in front of you in-person before you know it. I thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon.”