COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice provides reopening date for campgrounds to out-of-state guests; guidance now available for low-contact sports

6/3/2020

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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.

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

CAMPGROUND STAYS FOR OUT-OF-STATE VISITORS ADDED TO WEEK 7 REOPENINGS
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that private and state park campgrounds, along with state park lodges and cabins, will be allowed to reopen to out-of-state guests beginning next Wednesday, June 10, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.

The Governor announced that one of the restrictions will be that out-of-state guests will be limited to stays of no longer than seven days.

“We always want people to experience all of the beauty and adventure West Virginia has to offer,” Gov. Justice said. “But we surely don't want people coming here from out-of-state and just taking up some level of permanency in our state parks. That’s not what we’re looking for right now.”

Further guidance will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor's website as soon as possible.

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS FOR LOW-CONTACT SPORTS NOW AVAILABLE
Additionally, new guidance for the resumption of low-contact sports for participants of all ages are now available online.

As previously announced by Gov. Justice, all low-contact outdoor youth sports practices can resume, with limitations, on Monday, June 8. All adult sports facilities are also permitted to reopen on June 8, provided that the safety guidelines are properly followed.

Youth sports games with spectators and all other outdoor sporting events with spectators are not permitted to resume until Monday, June 22.

 

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR BINGO HALLS
Gov. Justice also announces today that new safety guidelines for bingo halls are now also available online.

 

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WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK  |  SAFER AT HOME ORDER
Week 6 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. The Governor's Safer At Home order also remains in effect. 

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES AWARD OF OAKWOOD ROAD PROJECT
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time during the briefing to announce that he has approved the award of the contract for the upcoming Oakwood Intersection Improvement Project at the intersection of Oakwood Road and U.S. 119 in Kanawha County.

The project will involve establishing a Restricted Crossing U-Turn – commonly known as an “R-CUT” – in the area to improve safety and decrease traffic light wait times.

The low bidder is Mountaineer Contractors, Inc., from Kingwood, with a bid of $5,852,067.80.

“When the Department of Transportation originally brought me the initial project design, it was estimated to cost approximately $30 million,” Gov. Justice said. “So I asked them to take a harder look at the project and they re-engineered it using cutting-edge ideas that resulted in a cost-savings of $25 million on this project.

“This is another example of the great work that our Highways workers and our Department of Transportation are doing every day,” Gov. Justice continued. “Everywhere you look, in the months to come across this state, you’ll see us fixing potholes, pulling ditches, and doing additional paving, and it will be going on in all 55 counties.”

 

STATEWIDE TESTING OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES UNDERWAY
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that his initiative to test all inmates and employees at every corrections facility in the state for COVID-19 is now underway.

The Governor reported that testing began Tuesday morning at five facilities in the northern and eastern panhandles, including three regional jails, two prisons, and two juvenile centers. More than 1,000 inmates and juveniles were tested. More than 500 employees were also tested.

In addition to its own employees, the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is testing its contract staff as well.

“They are tracking to complete the northern panhandle today, with two additional facilities,” Gov. Justice said.

The West Virginia DCR is scheduled to test all facilities statewide by June 12. Results will be posted on Coronavirus.wv.gov.

Gov. Justice also provided an update on the condition of the inmates and staff members from Huttonsville Correctional Center and Jail who tested positive amid the recent outbreak at that facility, reporting that seven of the eight positive employees at Huttonsville have recovered, with one employee back at work. Additionally, 21 of the inmates who tested positive have since recovered.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS UPDATE
Acting Commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia Scott Adkins joined Gov. Justice Wednesday to provide an update on the spike in unemployment claims seen since the start of the pandemic.

Adkins reported that, in the past 10 weeks alone, WorkForce West Virginia has received a total of 250,000 unemployment claims.

“Just to put that in perspective, all of 2019, we took 46,862 claims,” Adkins said. “So, in just the past 10 weeks, we’ve taken five times more claims than we did the entire year of 2019.”

Adkins also said that WorkForce has paid out more than $701 million in unemployment benefits in the past 10 weeks.

“There’s about five percent of the 250,000 claims that have had issues that we’re having to work through and those issues must be resolved before we can issue payment.” Adkins said. “I know there’s some folks still in the system and I can assure you that the staff here at WorkForce and our partners have been working very hard and diligently to resolve all those issues.”

Adkins also added that, as the number of claims has risen dramatically over the past two-and-a-half months, so too has the amount of fraud. He encouraged any West Virginians suspicious of fraudulent activity to call 1-800-379-1032 or visit WorkForceWV.org.

 

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING REMINDER: HARRISON, MCDOWELL, AND OHIO COUNTIES
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will be provided this Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6, in Harrison, McDowell, and Ohio counties.

The effort is part of a plan to provide free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Harrison County
Friday, June 5 & Saturday, June 6

Monticello Playground, 518 Monticello Avenue, Clarksburg, WV 26201

Ohio County
Friday, June 5 & Saturday, June 6
Laughlin Chapel, 129 ½ 18th Street, Wheeling, WV 26003

McDowell County
Friday, June 5
Tug River Health Clinic, 5883 Black Diamond Highway, Gary, WV 24836
Saturday, June 6
City Hall, 32509 Coal Heritage Road, Keystone, WV 24852

Click here to read more

 

UNTIES
The Governor also announced that the next round of community testing will be provided next Saturday, June 13, in Grant, Hardy, and Hampshire counties.

The testing will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be offered at the following locations:

Grant County
EA Hawse Health Center, 64 Hospital Drive #5, Petersburg, WV  26847

Hampshire County
EA Hawse Health Center, 22338 North Western Turnpike, Romney, WV 26757

Hardy County (three locations)
EA Hawse Health Center, 17978 WV 55, Baker, WV 26801
EA Hawse Health Center, 8 Lee Street #127, Moorefield, WV 26836
EA Hawse Health Center, 106 Harold K. Michael Drive, Mathias, WV 26812

Click here to read more

 

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

A new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

 

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
During today’s press briefing, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, reminded citizens that a hoax continues to make its rounds in our state and that the information is false.

The flyer has been identified in the eastern panhandle of the state and has also been circulated widely on social media platforms and falsely describes a “mobilization of National Guard forces by FEMA and Homeland Security.”

“It is exceptionally important that the people of West Virginia pay particular attention to the information they see and what they share, especially on social media, where rogue actors peddle in misinformation campaigns,” said Hoyer. “The entire goal of these groups –whether they be from Russia, China, or elsewhere – is to stoke fear and panic while undermining the positive work being conducted by our service members across the Nation.”

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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