COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice: West Virginia receives $625 million in federal funding to aid State coronavirus response

4/16/2020

CHARLESTON, WV – During his latest daily coronavirus briefing today, Gov. Jim Justice announced that West Virginia has received $625 million in funding from the federal government to assist the State in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor added that West Virginia will also receive an additional $625 million within the next two weeks, making for a combined federal stimulus total of $1.25 billion.

“All along, I have believed that our President and Congress would do the right thing and get us the money we are going to need to rebuild West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to commend President Trump and our all our Congressional delegation for securing this money. We are grateful beyond belief.”

The United States Treasury is expected to issue guidelines tomorrow on how this money can be used by cities, counties, and states. 

“I have asked the President to give us, as a State, as well as our counties and cities, more flexibility with how we can use this money to reopen and rebuild,” Gov. Justice said. “We need the flexibility to put this money where it’s needed most to help us rebuild stronger than ever.

“The sooner we have the flexibility to use this money in the ways we need it most, the better we will be,” Gov. Justice said. “This pandemic has done damage in ways that can’t always be seen. It’s thousands of business owners who have laid off their employees. It’s all the cities, municipalities, and counties who are seeing their revenues dry up. It’s our frontline soldiers who are fighting this disease every single day.”

 

 

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GOV. JUSTICE PARTICIPATES IN CONFERENCE WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP
Gov. Justice’s announcement today came moments after he participated in a videoconference with President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and all of the governors across America.

“It was all about ‘Opening Up America Again,’” Gov. Justice said. “There were a lot of guidelines that he’s given us, as states, to open back up. It would be my goal to get us back to work and a life that’s close to the way we were before. But, my number one job is to protect you all as best I possibly can. We will use our experts, we will use the guidelines from the President, we will absolutely use every means possible to make the very best decisions we can possibly make.

“You’ve done great West Virginia, and I’m really proud of you,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’ve led the nation in lots of different ways and I know that’s what West Virginians will always do.”

 

 

 

DHHR TO PROVIDE $69 MILLION TO WEST VIRGINIA HOSPITALS
Gov. Justice also announced that, in order to provide assistance to West Virginia’s hospitals, he has directed the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to immediately send out $69 million in directed payment program checks to hospitals across the state.

The checks were due to go out in June, but are being sent now to help infuse cash into hospitals as they manage through the pandemic.

“Our community hospitals have done an incredible job in preparing for this virus,” Gov. Justice said. “The fact that they have had to cancel elective procedures has hurt them financially more than anyone knows. We thank them in every way. And, hopefully, these dollars can help our wonderful hospitals bridge the gap during this difficult time.”

 

 

 

GOVERNOR REMINDS WEST VIRGINIANS TO TAKE CENSUS
Once again today, Gov. Justice offered a reminder to all West Virginians to take the opportunity to complete the 2020 United States Census.

“I continue to remind you, in regard to the Census, to be counted,” Gov. Justice said. “We need you to be counted to get real federal dollars to West Virginia.”

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

Respond to the Census online at 2020census.gov.

 

 

 

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS UPDATE
Gov. Justice also reported that, with 130,000 unemployment claims into Workforce West Virginia since the beginning of March, efforts continue to clear the backlog of claims to provide assistance to West Virginians as quickly as possible.

“We’re doing lots better,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve had an incredible effort from the National Guard and Workforce. Getting the checks out is getting better – we’re knocking down every roadblock in front of us.

“We’re now taking applications on the phone and immediately turning around and getting checks out to those people and then we’ll go back and true ourselves up as we have to. But these people have got to get their money and got to get their checks.”

Click here for more information on applying for unemployment benefits

 

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Today, the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) received notification for the approval to increase the number of Title 32 Soldiers and Airmen supporting COVID-19 response to 500.

"We are extremely grateful to Governor Justice for taking quick action to request an increase of Title 32 authorizations for West Virginia National Guard personnel supporting COVID-19 response," said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the WVNG. "Not only does it underscore the Governor's commitment to our force, but it also affords our service members the benefits they so desperately require during this ongoing pandemic."

Since beginning operations in support of the state's COVID-19 response 34 days ago, the WVNG has completed 414 missions through four lines of effort of operationalizing the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 619 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

The West Virginia National Guard took several additional new actions today in support of the State’s COVID-19 response. Click here to read more.


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

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