COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice provides update on Eastern Panhandle alert; signs order formalizing May 26 reopenings

5/22/2020

​​

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.

MONITORING CONTINUES IN BERKELEY, JEFFERSON COUNTIES
On Friday, Gov. Justice provided an update on the increased monitoring underway in two Eastern Panhandle counties that recently triggered the State’s new Heightened Alert System.

Yesterday, the Governor reported that Jefferson County had 20 new cases, while Berkeley County had 15 new cases over a 24-hour period.

The Governor ordered the West Virginia National Guard to respond to the region and, today, Gov. Justice announced that the situation is believed to be stable at this time.

“The net of the whole thing is that, at this time, things are okay,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to continue monitoring what’s going on in Berkeley and Jefferson counties all the time. But things are okay right now.

“We want to continue to know that this is a potential high-exposure area and we want you to continue wearing masks as much as you possibly can,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re not going to make it mandatory at this time, but I would highly encourage everyone to wear masks every time they are outside of their homes.”

The Governor also thanked all those who helped to execute a fast response in the area.

“We sent the National Guard up there, we listened to input from our legislators and health professionals on the ground, we held a conference call with medical experts who were weighing the situation, we did an incredible amount of testing,” Gov. Justice said. “I’m really, really proud of what we did in response to this situation in the Eastern Panhandle.”

 

Click images to view photo album

EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED THAT WILL OFFICIALLY ALLOW MAY 26 REOPENINGS
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed the executive order that will formally allow businesses, currently scheduled to reopen in the May 26 phase of the Governor’s reopening plan, to resume operations on that date if they so choose.

Businesses allowed to reopen on May 26, with limitations, include: 


The order will go into effect on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Click here to view executive order

 

NEW GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR POOLS, BOWLING ALLEYS, LVL’S, CASINOS, AND MORE
Today, several additional guidance documents were made available for various types of businesses reopening in the Week 5 and Week 6 phases of the Governor’s reopening plan, including swimming pools, bowling alleys and other places with indoor amusement, limited video lottery (LVL) retailers, and casinos.

Additional types of businesses and entities will be allowed to resume operations over the next several weeks. Further guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

 

UPDATES COMING TO COVID-19 DATA DASHBOARD
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice and leaders with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced that the State’s COVID-19 data dashboard would be updated this afternoon to display additional information about numbers related to COVID-19 cases.

The new dashboard will feature heavily-expanded COVID-19 data on a county-by-county level, among other changes.

“From the beginning, we have been completely transparent about our numbers as the pandemic has gone on, we have continued to have more and more data available on the COVID-19 data dashboard,” Gov. Justice said.

“I am very excited to have this up and running,” DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said. “We wanted to see county information, everyone wants to be able to pull that up, and I think everyone will be very pleased with that.”

Click here to read more

 

FLAGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF THROUGH SUNDAY TO HONOR COVID-19 VICTIMS
As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s national proclamation, Gov. Justice announced today that he has issued a proclamation, ordering that all United States and West Virginia state flags at all state-owned facilities across West Virginia be displayed at half-staff, beginning immediately and continuing until sunset on Sunday, May 24.

Click here to view the proclamation

 

FLAGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF MONDAY MORNING IN HONOR OF MEMORIAL DAY
Also today, the Governor announced that he has issued a proclamation, ordering that all United States and West Virginia state flags at all state-owned facilities across West Virginia be displayed at half-staff, from dawn until noon on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, to honor the memory of all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price defending the United States of America.

Additionally, Gov. Justice’s order requests that all citizens display their own United States and West Virginia state flags at their homes at half-staff, from dawn until noon on Memorial Day. The order also asks West Virginians to unite in prayer for permanent peace at 11 a.m. and observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.

Click here to view the proclamation

 

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO ENJOY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND RESPONSIBLY
Gov. Justice also took time today to remind all West Virginians to be safe when celebrating Memorial Day weekend.

“We hope that the sun is going to shine and that it’s going to be warm over the holiday weekend,” Gov. Justice said. “But the one thing that happens, every Memorial Day, that’s tragic beyond belief, we have boating accidents and swimming accidents.

“I would thoroughly encourage everyone on the water to wear a life jacket,” Gov. Justice said. “Enjoy yourself, but those life jackets are incredibly, incredibly important.”

Click here to read more

 

TESTING CONTINUES FOR MINORITY, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
Once again today, Gov. Justice urged West Virginians who are at particular risk for COVID-19 to take advantage of the State’s new initiative to provide free testing in minority and vulnerable communities.

The DHHR and local jurisdictions, with support from the WVNG, will be conducting the next round of these testing efforts in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion, and Monongalia counties today and tomorrow.

  • Cabell County
    • 16th Street Baptist Church (1647 9th Ave., Huntington, WV)
      • Friday, May 22 & Saturday, May 23  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Kanawha County
    • Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center (1701 5th Ave., Charleston, WV)
      • Friday, May 22 & Saturday, May 23  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Marion County
    • Windmill Park (900 Ogden Ave., Fairmont, WV)
      • Friday, May 22 & Saturday, May 23  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monongalia County
    • Big Lots (902 Fairmont Rd, Morgantown,  WV)
      • Friday, May 22  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • WVU Coliseum (3450 Monongahela Blvd., Morgantown, WV)
      • Saturday, May 23  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
      • Saturday, May 23  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Click here to read more

 

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Today, more than 80 members of the West Virginia National Guard are providing assistance for high-density population testing taking place in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion, and Monongalia counties.

The WVNG is also finalizing plans with State partners from the Bureau for Public Health and the local health departments in the Eastern Panhandle region to address the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases. The Guard has outlined four areas for additional support to Governor Justice, which includes broader testing; epidemiology support; personnel support to assist in data and analytics tracking of positive versus recovered cases, local R0 rate tracking, and hospitalizations by category of case; providing outreach to sectors in the area on best practices, sanitization and PPE wear; and utilizing the Guard for logistical movement of supplies and face coverings for distribution, if needed.

Click here to read more

 

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that, last Friday, the State sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for CARES Act money.

Gov. Justice also reiterated that 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.

“I encourage all of our cities and counties to continue to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “The guidelines are going to get better and better.

“I’ve said from day one that the government was going to ease the guidelines to enable us to recoup more dollars from this terrible pandemic and try to make us whole,” Gov. Justice said. “And sure as the world, yesterday, they came with a new set of guidelines that will absolutely help our state phenomenally.

“There may be smaller monies going out because of the restrictions, but there’s going to be an opportunity to bring a significant amount of more money into our communities.”

 

DATA UPDATE
Today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has dropped, once again, to 1.91 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

 

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asks 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.

 

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

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff
 

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map