COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces schedule for additional reopenings including indoor dining, retail stores, outdoor activities and more

5/11/2020

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CHARLESTON, WV – During his latest daily COVID-19 press briefing today, Gov. Jim Justice announced the next wave of businesses and activities permitted to reopen as part of the upcoming Week 4 phase of the Governor’s reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.

 

WEEK 4 REOPENINGS
The following entities are permitted to reopen, with limitations, in Week 4:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants at 50% capacity (Guidance)
  • Large/specialty retail stores (Guidance)
  • State park campgrounds for in-state residents only (Guidance for all campgrounds)
  • Outdoor recreation rentals (kayaks, bicycles, boats, rafts, canoes, ATVs and similar equipment) (Guidance)
  • Outdoor motorsport and powersport racing with no spectators
  • Hatfield McCoy Trail System (Guidance)

The executive order requiring out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine is also currently scheduled to be lifted during Week 4. In accordance with this scheduled change, new guidance documents are available for hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties, and cabins.

In addition to the reopening of campgrounds at West Virginia state parks to in-state residents, some public restrooms will also be reopened with proper sanitization protocols in place.

Week 4 is now scheduled to commence next Thursday, May 21, 2020.

“West Virginians, you need to remain as focused as you possibly can,” Gov. Justice said. “I would caution everyone, as we’re reopening, to surely wear a mask when you’re indoors and to do everything you can possibly do to wash your hands and maintain social distancing.

“As long as you continue to do what you’ve already done, we’ll be okay,” Gov. Justice said.

Several additional types of businesses and entities will be permitted to reopen in the weeks ahead. The opening schedule will be based upon the recommendations of state medical experts and upon testing data available at that time.

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

The Governor’s Office will announce when additional entities will be able to reopen and will provide the associated guidance documents as soon as possible.

 

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ADDITIONAL REOPENINGS SCHEDULED
Gov. Justice announced that outdoor guided fishing will be permitted to resume this Friday, May 15, 2020, under strict limitations, including that the maximum capacity for any boat be no more than two anglers and one guide. Additional guidance documents are now available.

Also today, Gov. Justice announced that state park cabins and lodges will be permitted to reopen to in-state residents on Tuesday, May 26.

The Governor also announced that certain outdoor youth sports activities will be permitted to resume on Monday June 8. This applies only to low-contact sports like baseball and softball. It does not include high-contact sports like football and basketball. Additional guidance for these reopenings will be provided online when available.

WEEK 3 OF “THE COMEBACK” NOW UNDERWAY
During today’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the Week 3 phase of his reopening plan officially began today.

This phase allows for the reopening of wellness facilities (gyms and fitness centers supervised by licensed professionals) and drive-in movie theaters.

These wellness facilities and drive-in movie theaters must follow all additional guidelines that have been put in place to help keep West Virginians safe.

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.

The Governor’s Safer at Home order remains in effect this week as well.

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES ADJUSTED SCHEDULE FOR “THE COMEBACK”
Today, Gov. Justice announced several adjustments to the projected reopening calendar for The Comeback plan. The current, tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Week 1 – Thursday, April 30 (underway)
  • Week 2 – Monday, May 4 (underway)
  • Week 3 – Monday, May 11 (underway)
  • Week 4 – Thursday, May 21
  • Week 5 – Tuesday, May 26
  • Week 6 – Monday, June 1
  • Week 7 – Monday, June 8

This schedule may be altered again if changes to the timeline are deemed necessary for the safety of West Virginians.

WHITEWATER RAFTING UPDATE
Gov. Justice also announced that progress is being made toward setting guidelines and scheduling a date for the reopening of whitewater rafting operations in West Virginia. However, the Governor says that these businesses must work with the medical community to establish a system that’s as safe as possible.

“I get it. I want this industry up and going,” Gov. Justice said. “But our health experts are really concerned about putting 25 or 30 people in a bus, taking them down the river and to the rafts, and, while they’re in the rafts, you’ve got eight people and a guide jammed in together. All of that really concerns our medical people.

“I have to defer to our medical people as our experts,” Gov. Justice continued. “I’ve asked the whitewater rafting people to work with them. As soon as we can get some kind of guidelines that everyone can live with and our medical experts feel are safe, we’ll move forward as quickly as we possibly can because I want it open for sure. But I don’t want it open if we’re going to grow the problem.”

 

GOVERNOR CELEBRATES CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS
Gov. Justice took time to thank all of the correctional officers across West Virginia today, in honor of the beginning National Correctional Officers Week.

“Think about the great work these people are doing in every aspect that they could possibly be doing,” Gov. Justice said. “I absolutely, sincerely, want to thank all of our correctional officers for all the great work they do every day.”

 

COVID-19 DATA UPDATE
Once again today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s growth rate of positive tests dropped to 0.4 percent today.

The Governor also pointed out that the state cumulative rate of positive tests decreased, yet again, to 2.15 percent – the state’s lowest figure in that category since before the pandemic arrived in West Virginia.

“Your story, West Virginia, is totally remarkable and a blessing from God above in every way and a blessing from what you’ve been able to do, West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “Absolutely, you continue to make me so proud it’s unbelievable, to make the nation in awe of what you’ve done. But you just can’t drop the ball right now. Don’t get relaxed. Just hang tough.”

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

 

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

“Please remember the Census and help each other so that all of us will be 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 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 AIR NATIONAL GUARD TO HONOR COVID-19 HEALTHCARE, FIRST RESPONDERS WITH FLYOVER
The 167th Airlift Wing, located in Martinsburg, and 130th Airlift Wing, located in Charleston, will honor front line COVID-19 healthcare and first responders with a flyover of hospitals in the region on Wednesday, May 13, as part of the Department of the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve.

The 167th AW flyovers will begin at 10 a.m. with approximately five to 10 minutes between each location and will conclude by 11 a.m. The C-17 will circle each location once before flying on to the next location.

The 130th AW flyovers will begin at 11 a.m. with approximately five to 10 minutes between each location and will conclude by 1:30 p.m. The C-130 will circle each location once before flying on to the next location.

Click here to read more

Additionally, in the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women assisted packing 1,423 box meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank and 360 family meal boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington. Yesterday, 10 WVNG personnel assisted in packing and delivering meals at the Milton Food Bank. To date, in conjunction with our food bank partners, the WVNG has packaged and delivered more than 207,000 meals for vulnerable and food insecure West Virginians.

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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