COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice unveils WVSTRONG Discount for State Parks; announces new testing dates for vulnerable populations

5/20/2020

​​
 

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.

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES WVSTRONG STATE PARKS DISCOUNT
To show his appreciation for the resiliency and support of West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Justice announced today that West Virginia State Parks will soon offer a historic discount on lodging for all West Virginia residents.

The offer is called the WVSTRONG Discount. For stays between June 1 through August 31, all West Virginians will be eligible for a 30 percent discount on lodging at all state parks. 

This discount is the first of its kind in the history of West Virginia State Parks.

"At the end of the day, all West Virginians have been heroes throughout these unusual times" Gov. Justice said. "Because of the resiliency and strength you have shown, following the advice of our experts, our state has seen some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases in the country. You're saving lives and we can never thank you enough."

To claim the 30 percent discount on a new reservation, simply book online at wvstateparks.com and enter promo code WVSTRONG at checkout.

Click here to read more

 

Week 4 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding Week 5  reopenings have been made. The Governor's new Safer At Home order is also in effect.

 

TESTING CONTINUES FOR MINORITY, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that efforts to test susceptible populations across West Virginia are set to continue.

The plan provides 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.

The DHHR and local jurisdictions, with support from the WVNG, will be conducting the next round of these testing efforts this Friday and Saturday.

  • 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
      • 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.


“If you want to get tested, come by, it’s free,” Gov. Justice said. “Whatever your situation may be, if you feel you’re at risk, come get tested. The more testing we do, the better shape we’ll be in.”

Click here to read more

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD COMPLETES TESTING AT HUTTONSVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER
At the direction of Gov. Justice and in coordination with the State DHHR and County Health Departments, the West Virginia National Guard began COVID-19 testing today at Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County

Members from Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical tested 203 staff today at the corrections facility. Additional testing for the night shift staff will commence on Thursday, May 21.

Yesterday, Gov. Justice announced​ that, for the first time, an inmate at one of West Virginia’s correctional facilities tested positive for COVID-19. The positive case was found in a 62-year-old male inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center.

“All inmates in the affected dorm were tested this morning,” Gov. Justice said Wednesday. “I want to thank the Division of Corrections, the DHHR, the National Guard, and everyone for responding quickly to this situation.”

Click here to read more

 

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE CLARIFIES RULES ON PUBLIC GATHERING SIZE LIMIT
Also today, Brian Abraham, General Counsel for Gov. Justice, clarified that the ban on public gatherings of 25 or more people, as outlined in the Governor’s Safer At Home order, does not apply for gatherings at businesses that are considered essential in the Safer At Home order.

“We’ve gotten various calls from these industries that are opening up,” Abraham said. “What we suggest is that any of those essential businesses that we’ve offered additional guidelines for, those are the guidelines that should be followed, not the 25-person limit.

“There is no 25-person public gathering limit on our essential businesses,” Abraham said. “A public gathering, something like a...picnic, where a group of people just gather in a park or something – those are the things that we’re trying to discourage, that don’t have any particular purpose other than just the socializing itself.”

 

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that, on 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.

“Please, as I continue to remind you, apply now,” Gov. Justice said. “Abide by the restrictions, but know you’ll have multiple bites of the apple here. As the regulations and the guidelines change, you’ll be able to reapply. But do what you can now, and we’ll get those monies headed your way as soon as possible.”

 

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

“Unless we want to just throw away money, go get counted,” Gov. Justice said. “There’s a fear, a stigma – people out there believe if they get counted they’re going to take something away from them.

“I can’t even fathom that. We have to get counted. We can’t live in the ages of old, we have got to live in the ages of new. And not being counted hurts us.”

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.

 

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 1.92 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.

 

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