COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice adds more recreational activities to list of upcoming reopenings

5/15/2020

​​


CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.

GYMNASTICS, DANCE, CHEERLEADING & MARTIAL ARTS ALLOWED TO RESUME MONDAY
On Friday, Gov. Justice clarified that several more recreational activities, including gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and martial arts, will be among those allowed to resume operations, with limitations, on this coming Monday, May 18.

“We’re trying to reopen as fast as we possibly can. But, at the end of the day, we’re going to do so under the guidance of our medical experts,” Gov. Justice said. “This is a very fluid situation. There’s no playbook. But we’re doing the very best we can to keep moving.”

Yesterday, the Governor announced that all types of fitness centers, gymnasiums, and recreation centers will be permitted to open on Monday, May 18, as part of his reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.

Gov. Justice has also issued an executive order, formalizing all of the May 18 reopenings.

Reopenings in all phases of the Governor’s plan are required to follow additional guidelines to help keep their patrons and all West Virginians as safe as possible.

Guidance documents for additional types of businesses included in The Comeback are available online.

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This Comeback plan provides the option for reopening for specific businesses, but only if they are able to do so safely.

 

Click images to view photo album

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK  |  SAFER AT HOME ORDER

Week 3 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding Week 4 reopenings have been made. The Governor's new Safer At Home order is also in effect. 

 

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS UPDATE
Also today, Gov. Justice reported that more than $551 million in unemployment benefits have been paid out from Workforce West Virginia since mid-March.

“Can you just image the work that’s gone in to send out half-a-billion dollars in a month-and-a-half,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s amazing. I know we’ve still got people that are waiting and, to me, until every rock has been turned, we’re not done.

“But kudos to Workforce West Virginia, the National Guard, and all their teams. You’ve done a lot of good work.”

 

GOVERNOR OFFERS CONDOLENCES FOLLOWING AIRMAN DEATH
Additionally, Gov. Justice announced the unexpected passing yesterday of West Virginia Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Chris Nasser, offering his condolences for the loss.

“I ask that you’ll join Cathy and I in keeping this National Guardsman in your thoughts and prayers,” Gov. Justice said. “There’s just been a lot of tough news right now. But we’ve got to find a way, as tough, strong, and faithful West Virginians to be able to withstand these tough times.”

Lt. Col. Nasser served as Mission Support Group commander at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg.

 

DIPG DAY PROCLAMATION
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed a proclamation, officially declaring this upcoming Sunday, May 17, 2020, as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Day in West Virginia.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, is a rare brain tumor that affects between 150 and 300 children in the United States each year. At this time there is no known cure. DIPG is the leading cause in childhood death due to brain tumors, with a median survival rate of eight to 11 months.

“This is so rare that it’s so important to make people aware all across this state in any way we can,” Gov. Justice said. “And just we hope and pray, someday soon, we’ll have a cure.”

 

TESTING UNDERWAY FOR MINORITY AND VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
Gov. Justice offered a reminder that public COVID-19 testing efforts are being conducted today in several communities across the state that have been identified as particularly susceptible to the disease.

“So far today, we’ve tested in excess of 300 people, it’s going really well,” Gov. Justice said. “If you have any anxieties, or if you’re not feeling right, please come in and test tested.”

Testing efforts are taking place today until 4 p.m. and will resume tomorrow, Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at each of the following locations:

  • BERKELEY COUNTY
    • Martinsburg High School (701 S Queen St., Martinsburg, WV)
  • JEFFERSON COUNTY
    • Asbury United Methodist Church (110 W North St., Charles Town, WV)
  • MERCER COUNTY
    • Bluefield State College: Harris-Jefferson Student Center Lower Parking Lot (219 Rock St., Bluefield, WV)
  • RALEIGH COUNTY
    • Commission on Aging (1614 S Kanawha St., Beckley, WV)

Cabell, Fayette, Kanawha, Marion, Mineral, and Monongalia counties have also been identified as areas with vulnerable populations. Testing efforts will take place in these areas in the near future.

Click here to read more

 

PEACE OFFICER MEMORIAL DAY
Also, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that today marks Peace Officers Memorial Day all across the country, asking West Virginians to join him in taking time to honor the law enforcement officers who protect our freedoms and keep us safe every day.

“I encourage us all to take time in prayer or, if you have an opportunity to talk with anyone that’s in law enforcement, to tell them how much you appreciate them and how much they mean to you, especially how we haven’t forgotten those we’ve lost,” Gov. Justice said.

 

DATA UPDATE
Today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has dropped, once again, to 2.03 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

 

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Click here to read more about the West Virginia National Guard's response to the pandemic

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

 


Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

Flag Status

 

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map