COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice adds tanning businesses to list of Week 4 reopenings



​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.

On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that tanning businesses have been added to the list of entities that will be allowed to reopen, with limitations, in the upcoming Week 4 phase of the Governor’s reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.

Week 4 is currently scheduled to commence on Thursday, May 21.

Tanning businesses will be required to follow additional guidelines to help keep their patrons and all West Virginians as safe as possible. These guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

“Our medical experts now feel like we’re good to go with our tanning businesses, so we’re going to bring them back online,” Gov. Justice said.


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Week 3 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding Week 4 reopenings have been made. The Governor's new Safer At Home order is also in effect. 

Gov. Justice also provided a message to owners and employees at various types of businesses across the state that remain closed at this time.

“I want you to know, if you’re one of the businesses out there that’s still closed, I would ask that you would please try to be patient,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re working it as diligently as we possibly can. We’re trying to bring us back from an economic standpoint, but we have got to remember that we really need to take baby steps in this.

“There’s so many different programs that are out there and I hope you’re utilizing those programs,” Gov. Justice continued. “I ask you to look at these programs and work it as best you possibly can.

“There’s no crystal ball here. All we can do is do absolutely everything we’ve already done: consult with all our leaders throughout the state, depend on our medical experts to give us great guidance, talk nonstop to the federal government and to the President, talk to great medical institutions all across the land. This is what we’re doing every single day to make the right moves on the chessboard and still know, if there’s an outbreak somewhere, we’ll be able to respond quickly.”


On Wednesday, the West Virginia Air National Guard honored front line COVID-19 health care and first responders with a flyover of hospitals in the region as part of the Department of the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve.

WVANG airmen and women flew a C-17 out of the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg and a C-130 out of the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston, flying over nearly 40 hospitals across the state.

The flyovers were a part of a nationwide salute to those supporting COVID-19 response efforts and served as vital training for both 167th AW and 130th AW pilots and aeromedical evacuation crews. These flights were conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers.

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On Wednesday, the Governor announced that he has signed a proclamation, officially declaring this week as National Skilled Nursing Care Week in West Virginia, in honor of the more than 15,000 West Virginians who work in nursing homes across the state.

“These people are on the front lines, fighting this terrible epidemic,” Gov. Justice said. “This week is a time that you should recognize all of our nursing home residents as well and honor them and our nursing home workers for all that they’ve done.

“We’ve all worked together. We were the first state in the nation to test all our nursing homes. We’ve led the way on that and we’re continuing to try to stay on top of this because we know these people are the most vulnerable of all.”


Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed a proclamation, officially declaring the month of May as Foster Care Month in West Virginia, in honor of the more than 7,000 foster children across the state as well as the adults who have gone the extra mile to help provide quality lives for these children.

“Our foster kids, for the most part, had already been dealt a really tough hand,” Gov. Justice said. “It is imperative that we are able to continue recruiting people to keep stepping up and taking care of these kids. This pandemic has highlighted that it is tremendously difficult on these families and these kids with them having to stay home, there were lots of safe havens, like schools, that closed. The hardships that these kids and these families are going through right this minute is magnified, in multiples, to what we’re all going through.

“There are many, many out there that are hurting,” Gov. Justice continued. “They’re not invisible. We see them. I want you to see them and just note how precious they are to all of us.”



Gov. Justice today asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

“I tell you every day to be counted on the Census,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re running out of time, that’s all there is to it.”

Gov. Justice announced that, to this point, Wood County has been the county with the highest response rate in the state at just 64.8 percent. Meanwhile, McDowell County is currently registering the lowest response rate at 4.7 percent.

“That’s not good enough, West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said, calling on county and city leaders to begin stressing the importance of responding. “A lot of our southern counties are low, really low.

“We’ve got to be counted, it is so very important. Because, if we don’t, at the end of the day, it’s going to pull more dollars out of West Virginia that we desperately need. Just think about the flow of COVID-19 dollars that could have come to us if we had been counted better 10 years ago.”

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.

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Once again today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that, while West Virginia’s daily positive growth rate increased to 2.0 percent, the cumulative rate of positive test results continued to decrease, dropping to 2.10 percent, 

Additionally, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state has decreased to 477, while the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 has increased to 855.

West Virginia continues to outpace all of its surrounding states, as well as the national average, in terms of the percentage of population that has been tested. At the same time, West Virginia has the lowest rate of positive tests compared to all of its surrounding states and the national average.

View the latest COVID-19 data at


During his remarks Wednesday, DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch offered a reminder to parents that, if any of their children have recently become uninsured, health care coverage is available through West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

More information is available at


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

Governor's Mansion:

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