Tuesday Coronavirus Update

There have now been 62,189 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with 6,164 total hospitalizations and 1,740 deaths.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done talking about why he pushed out a top health official during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor deflected multiple questions Monday about the forced resignation of former public health commissioner Cathy Slemp as he continued to doubt the accuracy of the state’s virus caseload numbers.

Justice has said he thinks the state’s active caseload may have been overstated, floating the idea that the tally could be exaggerated by around 300 cases, while providing little detail. He has blamed Slemp, who has worked for decades in public health, and suggested she was responsible for the discrepancy before having her removed from her post last week.

Hours after Justice’s news conference, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said caseload discrepancies emerged because local health departments didn’t clear active cases from the state’s electronic reporting system, and that the DHHR didn’t follow up to verify the data.