CHARLESTON - During Monday’s daily briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that several new church-related outbreaks of COVID-19 have been identified at places of worship in Grant, Logan, and Wood counties.


Last week, the Governor announced that additional church-related outbreaks had already been identified in Boone, Kanawha, Raleigh, and Taylor counties.


Between all seven of these counties combined, these outbreaks account for about 75 total cases.


"We’ve absolutely got to stay on top of this with all in us," Gov. Justice said. "Please know that the church setting is the ideal setting to spread this virus."


The Governor urged all West Virginians in church settings to follow the state’s safety guidelines, including using every other pew, maintaining social distancing, and wearing face coverings.


"I know these things are really difficult to do," Gov. Justice said. "But, for right now, they have to be done because, if we don’t, all we’re going to do is lose more people.


"We could very well lose a lot of our grandmothers and grandfathers – people who have so much wisdom to still continue to pass on – we absolutely don’t need to be losing these great West Virginians."


Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he will hold a virtual meeting with all public and private college and university presidents on Tuesday to discuss reopening plans for the fall semester and how to ensure the safety of West Virginia’s students, teachers, and communities.


"All of us, myself included, want to see our kids back on campus and back to school," Gov. Justice said. "One of the things that we have to do is to be sure that we test every student that is coming into West Virginia from out-of-state.


"Otherwise, I think we’re doing absolutely what has to be done," Gov. Justice continued. "We’re watching what’s going on in our nation, we’re watching what’s going on in our state with our numbers, and we’re absolutely trying, with all in us, for our kids to get back in school.


"We’ve got to have our colleges and our universities running. We have to have them. We’re trying to continue the education process for our kids. We’re going to have some more dialogue and then we’ll pass along that information."