COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces “Safer At Home” order to replace “Stay At Home” order



​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.

In light of West Virginia's success at keeping the cumulative rate of positive COVID-19 tests under 3 percent and in concert with the Governor’s recently-announced plan to reopen the economy – Gov. Justice announced today that he will soon lift the “Stay At Home” order imposed statewide last month, replacing it with a “Safer At Home” order.

The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 4.

Click here to read the full order

MORE INFO: “Safer At Home” order | “West Virginia Strong – The Comeback”


“‘Safer At Home’ still strongly encourages all West Virginians to stay at home when not performing essential tasks, but no longer mandates them to stay at home,” Gov. Justice said. “Our people have been knocking it out of the park, but we need to keep it that way. You should still stay home if you have any symptoms or have come in contact with someone who has the virus.”

During his daily media briefing Thursday, the Governor highlighted that the state’s percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has steadily dropped in recent days. The cumulative rate of positive tests has also decreased to 2.51 percent – far below all bordering states and the national average of over 17 percent. 


View the latest COVID-19 testing data at

“You’ll remember that way back in the early days of March, I came to you and I said, ‘It’s not time to panic, it’s time to be cautious. It’s not time to be fearful, it’s time to be smart. It’s not time to be weak, it’s time to be West Virginia strong,’” Gov. Justice said.

“Just look what you’ve done,” Gov. Justice continued. “You have absolutely not panicked, you’ve been cautious. You’ve not been fearful, you’ve been smart. You’ve not been weak, you’ve been West Virginia strong.

“You’ve led the nation. I could not be more proud. Now let’s just keep it up.”

The Governor’s “Safer At Home” order provides additional new guidelines for individuals, businesses, public gatherings, and more.

The new order will be modified each week throughout the duration of “The Comeback” reopening plan.


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Gov. Justice also issued a reminder that today marked the beginning of “Week 1” in his multi-phased plan to reopen businesses across West Virginia. In this phase, hospitals offering elective procedures, outpatient health care operations, and daycares are permitted to resume services, provided that they follow all necessary safety guidelines issued by the State.

The Governor also announced that, today, the Department of Health and Human Resources issued guidance on the testing of staff at daycare centers statewide.


The “Week 2” phase of reopenings are scheduled to begin this coming Monday, May 4. This includes small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, restaurants with takeaway service or outdoor dining options, religious entities and funeral homes, and professional service businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and pet grooming.

Click here to view additional safety guidelines and to read more about "The Comeback" plan

Several additional types of businesses will be permitted to reopen from Weeks 3-6. The opening schedule for these businesses will be based upon the recommendations of state medical experts and upon testing data available at that time.

Today, Gov. Justice announced that the list of businesses included in the “Week 3” phase of reopenings will be announced on Monday, May 4. These businesses would be scheduled to reopen on Monday, May 11.


Also today, the Governor announced that horse racing will be able to resume, without spectators, on Thursday, May 14.

“It takes a couple weeks of active training and conditioning before it’s safe for the horses,” Gov. Justice said. “They will be starting back very, very soon in preparation for us to have spectatorless horse racing.”


Additionally the Governor announced that the United Ways of West Virginia are holding a Country Roads Food Drive on Tuesday, May 5, to feed families in West Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I encourage you, if you would, to try to help, to try to call in to these people, and to try to do anything and everything you possibly can,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s great stuff when you see, over and over, West Virginians stepping up and doing all the good stuff that they do everyday.

“We’re trying, every way in the world, to feed our kids and our elderly and those that are maybe having a really tough time right now. West Virginians know that we absolutely, surely to goodness, have to take care of people that are really having a rough go.”

Click to read more info


Yet again today, Gov. Justice encouraged all West Virginians to take the opportunity to complete the 2020 United States Census.

“Please, please, please call your neighbors, your in-laws, your outlaws, and everyone around you and absolutely make sure we get counted,” Gov. Justice said.

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 health care, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Respond in just minutes at


Also on Thursday, the DHHR’s Bureau for Children and Families announced that it is issuing a one-time Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) supplemental payment of $100 to both LIEAP participants and heating source vendors to offset bulk fuel expenses from the current program year.

This one-time payment will take the place of Emergency LIEAP and should be received by the end of May. The payment will be automatic; an application or a termination notice will be not required.

Click here to read more


Additionally Thursday, DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch reported that testing has now been completed on 97 percent of all the nursing homes across West Virginia.

“We have only four facilities that have not been tested. Three of those are being tested today and one tomorrow to complete that effort,” Sec. Crouch said. “I will give a report, tomorrow, in terms of the results of that testing.”


Officials with the West Virginia Department of Education announced Thursday that they have worked closely with College Board to establish an SAT School Day administration this fall for West Virginia students who will be seniors during the 2020-21 school year. This administration of the exam will provide seniors who would have taken the state-provided SAT School Day in spring 2020 as juniors with an opportunity to obtain SAT scores in time to be submitted for college admissions and to qualify for the state’s PROMISE Scholarship.
The primary test date for the fall state-provided SAT School Day will be September 23, but counties may choose a test date of October 14. Both school-day test dates are followed by a 10-day window to administer tests to students who require accommodations. A makeup date is set for October 28. In addition to the state school-day test dates, the WVDE has provided counties with other options, including establishing a test site and using vouchers for seniors to test on a Saturday national test date in the fall.

Click here to read more



Click here to read about the latest response efforts from the West Virginia National Guard


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


Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


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

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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