W.Va. Governor says more COVID-19 vaccines are expected this week; gives unemployment assistance updates

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 1:39 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says the state is expecting more coronavirus vaccinations.

Governor Justice announced it at a press conference on Monday, December 28.

The state is expected to receive a Moderna shipment on Monday in four of the five hub locations. A Pfizer shipment is also expected Monday or Tuesday. Governor Justice says 25,925 doses are expected this week.

West Virginia is still leading the nation in distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. The governor says 50.4% of the total number of doses given to West Virginia have been administered.

The state is also leading administering the COVID-19 vaccine to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All 214 facilities are expected to be complete on Monday, December 28, according to Governor Justice.

Scott Adkins, the Acting Commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia, discussed unemployment benefits. The new COVID-19 relief bill that was signed by President Trump Sunday night, which extended some of the provisions of the CARES Act.

Adkins says there are three major components that affect West Virginians.

The first one is the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: originally people were eligible for up to 13 weeks. That expired this past Saturday. The extension will provide an additional 11 weeks for a maximum of 24 weeks. It will be available this week and end the week of March 13. If you were already receiving these benefits, you don’t need to do anything. Workforce will start making those payments.

Commissioner Adkins says the second program affected is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. The extension will be available for another 11 weeks. This would include $300 per week. This would be on top of what your normal weekly benefit is. However, you have to be eligible for some form of unemployment to get the $300 each week for 11 weeks. This program will also end the week of March 13.

The third program affected by the CARES Act extension is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. This is for independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Originally, you were entitled to up to 39 benefits. Starting this week, you will be eligible for an additional 11 weeks. You will receive your weekly benefit amount, as well as an additional $300.

If your benefits have exhausted, you don’t need to do anything at all, other than continue to file your weekly certifications on Sunday. For more information on this, click here or call 1-800-252-JOBS.

Dr. Anye Amjad, the State Health Officer, offers guidance as New Year’s Eve and Day approaches. She says if you’re planning to celebrate, you should spend time with family and friends virtually. Make sure to wear masks and stay socially distanced.

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