COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice: “West Virginians have done incredible work, but we need to keep it up”

5/5/2020

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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.

Week 2 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway. The Governor's new “Safer At Home” order is also in effect.

GOV. JUSTICE PROVIDES UPDATE ON COVID-19 TESTING DATA
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in West Virginia now significantly exceeds the number of active cases in the state.

View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov

The most recent testing data shows that a total of 667 West Virginians have now recovered from COVID-19, compared to 510 remaining active cases.

 

“We want the number of recovered cases to keep getting significantly higher and it is trending higher every day,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s really good stuff.”

Gov. Justice also highlighted that while West Virginia has tested a higher rate of its population than all of its surrounding states as well as the national average, West Virginia has experienced a lower rate of positive tests than all of its surrounding states as well as the national average.

The Governor also reported that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive tests and its rate of infection (R
0) both remain low as well.

“We should be unbelievably proud of these numbers,” Gov. Justice said. “You – our great West Virginians – have done incredible work. But we need to keep it up.”

 

NEW UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AVAILABLE TOMORROW
Additionally, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginians who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits are eligible for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – a 13-week extension on unemployment benefits provided by the federal CARES Act.

The additional weeks of benefits are available to individuals who have previously collected state and federal unemployment compensation but have exhausted those benefits.

Applicants may apply for the extension tomorrow at WorkForceWV.org​.

“As you know, we were the first state that was able to provide the additional $600 on the benefits of the CARES Act,” Gov. Justice said. “Some states are way, way behind us and having a lot more problems than we had. We tried to jam all of those things in that bottleneck and we threw more and more workers at it. We were able to clear the deck and get it done.”

Gov. Justice also provided a reminder that WorkForce West Virginia will begin paying Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits this Friday, May 8.

These benefits are for individuals who normally aren't eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law like self-employed workers.

Click here to read more

 

GOV. JUSTICE EXTENDS FREE FISHING DAYS
Gov. Justice has announced that West Virginia residents can enjoy another month of free fishing. 

The requirement to possess a fishing license to fish in state-regulated waters has been waived for state residents through May 31st. 

Anglers are asked to continue practicing safe social distancing measures. 

The DNR regular trout stockings will continue as set forth in the 2020 Fishing Regulations. With these regular stockings, thousands of golden rainbow trout are being stocked in streams and rivers throughout West Virginia. Anglers are encouraged to watch out for specially tagged Goldens.

Of the 50,000 golden trout stocked, 150 fish have specially marked, numbered tags. Anglers that reel in a catch with a numbered tag, may enter to win one of five grand prizes. Anglers may register their prize catch at goldrushwv.com.

Click here to read more

 

GOVERNOR CLARIFIES NEXT ROUND OF BUSINESS REOPENINGS
Also today, the Governor provided extra clarification about what types of businesses are in line to reopen on Monday, May 11 as part of the Week 3 phase of “West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.”

“There are rumors that keep going around and circulating on social media about businesses that have supposedly been given special permission from my office to reopen. These are nothing but rumors. Don’t believe them at all,” Gov. Justice said. “My office does not give special permission to any businesses to open and all business reopenings will be announced by my office.”

 

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NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK CELEBRATED
Gov. Justice also acknowledged this week as National Teacher Appreciation Week.

“From my office and myself, and on behalf of all of those wonderful kids out there, we want to wish out our love and thanks to all of our great teachers that have done great work for us over the years,” Gov. Justice said. “We hate that you’re not in the classroom, but we know that you’re still trying to help our kids in every way with all the work that you’re still doing online.

“Thank you for the love that you’ve given our kids and the great work that you’ve done over and over.”

 

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

“We’ve got to be counted,” Gov. Justice said. “Please help me. Call anyone and everyone and ask them to help too and let’s get a pyramid of people that are absolutely pushing all of us to get counted, because every person that’s counted in West Virginia will mean more federal dollars to us and allow us to do more things for West Virginians.”

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

 

CORONAVIRUS CZAR PROVIDES UPDATE
West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh also made remarks today, explaining West Virginia’s cautious approach toward reopening the state and its economy.

“This week we have reduced the aggressiveness of some of the openings,” Dr. Marsh said. “We’re going to let things play out for a week or so. Certainly opening up health and rehab facilities supervised by health professionals is important...but we know it takes about 10 days to two weeks to see the initial impacts of some of the reopenings, the coming back together, and then it takes about two cycles of that to see the full extent.

“So we want to make sure we are giving enough time to see what is the real effect from a health and well-being standpoint for the first part of what we’re doing – still continuing to open up and to allow businesses to start to reopen the economy – but we want to make sure, with some of the bigger businesses, we give them the right guidance and support.”

 

DEPT OF EDUCATION CONTINUES TO ACCEPT ORGANIZATION PARTNERS TO FEED KIDS THROUGH THE SUMMER
The West Virginia Department of Education is continuing to seek partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children during the summer months. Just as during the COVID-19 pandemic, when school is out during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas. 

County boards of education, local government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations are encouraged to participate in the Summer Food Service Program, which ensures children (ages 18 and under) facing food insecurity continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access the School Breakfast or National School Lunch programs. Sponsors typically represent schools, churches, community centers, libraries, housing complexes, and summer camps.

Click to read more

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Click here to read about the latest response efforts by the West Virginia National Guard

 

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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