Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731
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issues order permitting colleges and universities to reopen
Friday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that he has issued an executive
order, formally allowing all of West Virginia’s
public and private colleges and universities to reopen for the fall
semester. The order does not mandate a specific reopening date,
allowing each institution to reopen on their own preferred time
The executive order announced Friday also formalizes the reopening
date for all public and private Pre-K-12 schools as Sept. 8, 2020,
as previously announced by the Governor. Additionally, the order
clarifies restrictions for certain businesses across West Virginia.
extends closure of Monongalia County bars for an additional 10 days
Justice announced Thursday that he has issued an executive
order, extending the closure of all bars in Monongalia County for
an additional 10 days. As of Thursday morning, July 23, more
than 17.9 percent of West Virginia’s active cases were located in
Monongalia County. Their 289 active cases are the highest total for
any county statewide. The order was also requested by the
Monongalia County Commission to help ensure the health and safety
of citizens. The order keeps all Monongalia County bars closed
for the on-premises consumption of food or drinks or occupancy by
the general public. However, customers will still be permitted to
pick up food or drinks to be taken away.
The new order also allows patrons to be seated, for dining, at
tables and bar tops within "bar areas" of restaurants,
hotels, and other similar facilities, subject to the same
limitations that are in place for restaurants. The West Virginia
Alcohol Beverage Control Administration will soon issue further
guidance regarding this limitation to these facilities. The new
order extends the countywide bar closure, established under Executive Order 52-20, until
Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
hosts West Virginia’s college and university presidents for virtual
meeting to discuss reopening plans
Justice held a virtual meeting Tuesday with all 27 of West
Virginia’s public and private college and university presidents to
discuss reopening plans for the fall semester and how to ensure the
safety of West Virginia’s students, teachers, faculty members, and
communities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During
Tuesday’s meeting, Gov. Justice renewed his calls for all students
coming into West Virginia from out-of-state to be tested upon their
return. The Governor also advocated for individuals on campuses to
wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible and pledged to
provide colleges and universities with any additional support they
may need to facilitate a safe return. All colleges and universities
have individual reopening plans that they are communicating to
their campus communities. Each institution is unique, with diverse
student bodies and infrastructure, so the plans vary from school to
school. During the meeting, Gov. Justice expressed confidence in
each institution’s ability to chart the correct course for their
hosts lawmakers for meeting on COVID-19 recovery
Gov. Justice hosted a virtual meeting with the various West
Virginia legislators on his COVID-19 advisory council to discuss
the distribution of pandemic-related relief funding.
“We had a really productive meeting,” Gov. Justice said. “We spent
the last couple hours with a lot of good people, going through a
lot of good ideas and questions.
“We talked about the distribution of our CARES Act dollars, how we
put our plan together, how it’s all flowing, and how we’re
modifying it and making it better with input from lots of different
people,” Gov. Justice continued.
The Governor went on to say that he is consulting with these
lawmakers from all across the state, to figure out the best ways to
ensure that every West Virginian who qualifies to receive funding
is able to get their share as quickly as possible.
“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned and we don’t want to
leave money on the table,” Gov. Justice said. “We absolutely want
to take advantage of every dollar we can take advantage of.”
provides more than $4.1 million to help volunteer firefighters
Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that he and his team
have found a way to provide $10,000 in grant funding directly to
each of the 419 volunteer fire departments across West Virginia. In
total, the Governor’s initiative will provide $4.19 million to help
volunteer firefighters in all corners of the Mountain State.
Justice reports modest improvement in case numbers
Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported a modest improvement in West
Virginia’s COVID-19 case numbers in recent days, announcing that
out of 2,838 tests taken on Tuesday, only 30 were positive; a rate
of less than 1.06 percent.
“The number of active cases in Mon County has dropped from 394 to
339 and that’s also very good,” Gov. Justice said. “Our numbers,
for the past couple of days, have been moving back in the direction
that we want them to move.
Gov. Justice pointed out that Wednesday marked two weeks and two
days since he established his statewide indoor face covering
requirement. The Governor also reported that West Virginia’s
Rt value – an indicator of how much COVID-19 is spreading – which
had been the highest among all 50 states, had improved to 19th
highest nationwide. However, Gov. Justice also pointed out that
COVID-19-related hospitalizations had increased slightly since his
previous briefing on Monday.
reports millions of meals provided to West Virginia students
Gov. Justice gave another update on efforts by the West Virginia
Department of Education, county boards of education, and additional
community partners to provide meals to children through the variety
of feeding programs across the state.
“The West Virginia Department of Education received more than $36
million in CARES Act funding to be used for the period between
March and September 2020,” Gov. Justice said. “This funding was
sent directly to the WVDE from the USDA, specifically for meal claims
reimbursement to counties.
“As of July, the West Virginia Department of Education has spent
more than $40.5 million in meal reimbursements and over 11.5
million meals were served during the COVID-19 school closure,” Gov.
Justice continued. “This summer, approximately 6.6 million meals
will be served through the Summer Food Service Program through 353
In June 2020 alone, the WVDE reimbursed summer sponsors $7.8
million in federal reimbursement money. This is in comparison to
$1.75 million in federal reimbursement for the entirety of the 2019
Summer Food Service Program.
Justice reminded West Virginians that an interactive free-feeding
location map, designed to help connect citizens in need to food
resources across the state, is available online. If food
distribution locations aren't available in some communities,
individuals are encouraged to call 211 for further assistance.
reports active church outbreaks in 8 counties
Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that one new
church-related outbreak of COVID-19 has been identified at a place
of worship in Mason County, meaning there are now active church
outbreaks in a total of eight counties across West Virginia. Other
counties where such outbreaks have been identified include Boone,
Grant, Logan, Kanawha, Raleigh, Taylor, and Wood counties. As of
Friday, these outbreaks account for about 125 total cases combined.
“I, again, want to strongly encourage all West Virginians,
especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines: use
every other pew, maintain social distancing, and please wear face
coverings,” Gov. Justice said. “A lot of the attendance at our
churches are those that are elderly and at higher risk, so I am
cautioning everyone to strictly follow our guidelines.”
reports state park reservations up 227 percent
Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that in June 2020, compared to
June 2019, West Virginia saw a 227 percent increase in online
reservations for stays at West Virginia State Parks among in-state
residents. Revenue from West Virginia residents also increased by
187 percent. In May, as a show of appreciation for the
resiliency and support of West Virginians during the COVID-19
pandemic, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia State Parks
would offer a historic discount on lodging for all West Virginia
residents. The offer, called the WVSTRONG Discount, is providing
West Virginians with a 30 percent discount on lodging at all State
Parks for stays between June 1 through August 31.
announces additional free COVID-19 testing locations
Justice updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19
testing events taking place over the next two weeks at various
dates and times in Brooke, Gilmer, Logan, and Marion 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.
National Guard Airmen explain the process of testing for COVID-19
testing is a critical component of identifying the spread of the
virus and helping to contain it. The West Virginia National
Guard has been instrumental in conducting this testing throughout
the state and in an effort to ensure they can continue this
mission, they are training 100 of their medics to administer
COVID-19 tests. To date, the WVNG has administered 30,000+ COVID-19
appoints Patrice Harris, reappoints two others to WVU Board of
Gov. Justice announced the appointment of Dr. Patrice Harris to the
West Virginia University Board of Governors. Also, current members
Tom Jones and Taunja Willis Miller have been reappointed by the
governor to the board. A native of Bluefield, Harris received
her undergraduate and medical degrees WVU in addition to a master’s
degree in counseling. She also completed a psychiatry residency and
child psychiatry fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine.
Harris has served as a WVU Foundation Board of Directors member and
is a 2007 inductee to the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
Cathy Justice welcomes Upshur County to Communities In Schools
Wednesday, First Lady Cathy Justice welcomed Upshur County Schools
to the state's Communities In Schools program for the 2020-2021
school year. CIS is currently in 79 schools in 15 counties in West
Virginia. They impact more than 27,000 students and the program is
continuing to grow. Gov. Justice and the First Lady have championed
the expansion of the program after starting with just three
counties in 2018.
WVNG welcome home soldiers returning from overseas
Virginia National Guard and Gov. Justice welcomed home 33 soldiers
from the West Virginia National Guard, who returned to the Mountain
State Friday after spending nearly a year abroad.
“I’ve said over and over, we owe all of the goodness that we have
in life to our heroes in uniform,” Gov. Justice said. “So,
absolutely, we celebrate the return of these brave men and women
Over the next two months, approximately 600 WVNG soldiers are
scheduled to return home from various deployments around the world.
orders U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of
U.S. Rep. John Lewis
As a mark
of respect for the memory and longstanding public service of
Representative John Lewis, of Georgia, and in accordance with
President Donald J. Trump’s proclamation, Gov. Jim Justice issued a
proclamation, ordering that all United States and West Virginia
flags on all State-owned facilities be displayed at half-staff
Saturday, July 18, 2020.
educators for in-person, remote, and blended learning
the education community prepares for the 2020-2021 school year in
the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Virginia Department of
Education (WVDE) is offering a professional learning opportunity to
assist county and school professional staff, including teachers,
administrators, counselors, school psychologists, academic coaches,
county administrators and instructional leaders in engaging
students in meaningful learning activities, no matter how
instruction is delivered. The WVDE Instructional Support
Professional Learning Forum, is a virtual training, August 3
through August 7, 2020, featuring a series of nearly 100 online professional
learning sessions. The three-day forum focuses on a variety of
topics designed to help county and school personnel prepare for the
upcoming school year, whether that be through in-person, remote, or
blended learning. Sessions range from teaching reading
comprehension remotely, to virtual speech-language evaluation
training, to remote learning with science labs and addressing the
needs of vulnerable populations, including special needs students.
The forum also includes a strand for Technical and Adult Education,
with several sessions on topics of interest to Career Technical
Education and Advanced Career Education instructors. All sessions
will be recorded and made available to registrants after the forum.
employees explain the process of paving a road
Wednesday, the West Virginia Division of Highways released a video
spotlighting employees paving roadways across our state. The crew
in the video was paving Route 50 in Ritchie County. District 3
Maintenance Engineer Jared Evans explains that to pave a road the
first step is to prep it by sweeping the road, ditching the sides,
and making sure the drainage is in good shape.
highlights progress on Corridor H project from Kerens to US 219
Virginia Division of Highways is highlighting the recent progress
made on the Corridor H project from Kerens to the US 219 Connector.
Crews have been working on excavating and constructing three
bridges in this stretch of the project.
citizen science project to track fireflies in West Virginia
effort to understand declining firefly populations, the West
Virginia Division of Natural Resources is inviting the public to
participate in a citizen science project to track lightning bug
sightings in the Mountain State. West Virginia has up to 40
species of fireflies that may have declined in number due to
habitat loss, pesticide use and other environmental causes such as
light pollution, but can still be seen in fields and forests after
sunset during the summer. You can be part of the DNR’s firefly
conservation efforts and participate in the survey by going
outside, looking for fireflies, and reporting the location of your
sightings at www.wvdnr.gov/fireflies. You can
also download the Survey123 app on the Apple and Google Play
launches ATLAS™ website to help navigate addiction treatment
Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources today announced
the launch of ATLAS™ (Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and
Standards Platform), the first resource of its kind to help those
seeking addiction treatment find high-quality and appropriate care.
The ATLAS website provides transparent data on the use of
evidence-based medical practices and patient experiences at
addiction treatment facilities. ATLAS allows users to compare
treatment facilities side-by-side, or filter by selected criteria,
such as facility location, program needs, or insurance carrier.
Patients and their loved ones will also be able to leave feedback
on treatment facilities by responding to validated survey questions
similar to those used in other areas of healthcare. West
Virginia is one of six states that have partnered with
Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to
reversing the addiction crisis in America, to develop and launch
Virginians urged to participate in the 2020 Census
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.
WVSFMO participates in memorial procession
for Charleston Firefighter
WVDE shares virtual school options available
WVDEP Youth Environmental Program challenges
public to play Earth BINGO
WVDEP's Environment Matters spotlights The
Wild Ramp in Huntington
Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce