CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fifty-nine West Virginia pharmacies are now part of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
State InterAgency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer announced the agreement at Gov. Jim Justice’s coronavirus media briefing Monday.
“Fifty-nine independent pharmacies are being added to the group,” Hoyer said. “It looks like right now about 5,000 doses to those 59 pharmacies.”
The distribution is part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership. The pharmacies are in the Medicine Shoppe/Leader Network of pharmacies.
Hoyer said the pharmacies will be working with the task force and getting the names from the state’s registration list.
“Doses go directly from the federal government to those pharmacies but we within the InterAgency Task Force work with those pharmacies to identify the appropriate individuals to receive the vaccines,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer continues to urge residents who have yet to pre-register for vaccinations to do so at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling 1-833-734-0965.
The state said they need more registrations from Gilmer, Calhoun, Clay, Wirt, Doddridge, Webster, Pocahontas, Grant, Pendleton, Braxton, Wyoming, Pleasants, Tyler, Tucker and McDowell counties.
Just more than 12% of the state’s population have been fully vaccinated.
New CDC guidance
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control published new guidance Monday when it comes to those who have been fully vaccinated.
State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said, according to the guidance, those residents don’t have to wear masks or observe social distancing if they are in small groups.
“If you are with other people that have been completely vaccinated and they’re two weeks after their vaccines, those of you, if everybody meets that criteria, can meet and not worry as much about physical distancing and wearing masks. And that’s okay indoors as well, per the new guidelines,” Marsh said.
The guidelines also said there can be a mixture of vaccinated residents with residents who haven’t been vaccinated if they are considered low-risk of contracting COVID-19.
Marsh said masks should be worn and social distancing observed in larger public groups.
“Even if you’ve been vaccinated and you’re finished two weeks after the last dose, it is really important for you to go ahead and wear your masks, to protect yourself and to protect others,” Marsh said.
Social distancing still required in restaurant and bars
Gov. Jim Justice returned restaurant and bars to 100% seating capacity over the weekend but he’s still requiring social distancing. Justice was asked Monday if that’s a conflict.
“What we want is commonsense,” Justice said. “We don’t people running away with a six-foot stick. Let’s crawl before we walk here and if we’re easing our way out of this let’s not do something that just causes something to backfire right in everybody’s face.”
State Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch urged caution at restaurant and bars.
“We want to make sure that are citizens are safe as we move forward and open up,” Crouch said.