Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731
Contact the Governor's Office
COVID-19 Response Weekly Update
June 6 –
7 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West
Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is
now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings
have been made. Guidance documents for businesses and other
entities permitted to reopen can also be found on The Comeback
The Governor's Safer At
Home order remains in effect.
Additional information about COVID-19 and what West Virginia is
doing to combat the virus can be found on Coronavirus.wv.gov.
12: Gov. Justice announces testing of all prisons and jails
complete; $2.6 million in CARES Act funding now out to cities and
TESTING OF WEST VIRGINIA CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES COMPLETED
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that all inmates and employees at
each of the State’s correctional facilities have now been tested
“In eight days, we have tested more than 10,000 inmates and 4,000
employees,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re still waiting on some
additional results coming in, but the overwhelming results are
of Friday afternoon showed there were a
total of nine active COVID-19 cases among inmates and residents at
four jails and two prisons across West Virginia and five active
COVID-19 cases among corrections employees and contract staff.
Last month, Gov.
Justice ordered that all inmates and
employees within the State’s network of correctional facilities be
tested for COVID-19, following an influx of cases at Huttonsville
Correctional Center and Jail in Randolph County.
MILLION IN GRANT FUNDING DISTRIBUTED TO CITIES AND COUNTIES
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and
counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the
federal CARES Act, reporting that $2.6 million has now been
distributed all across the state.
“We’re getting the funds out the door as fast as we possibly can,”
Gov. Justice said. “We now have 61 cities and counties that have
applied for this funding and I’m hopeful that we’re going to be
able to shove a bunch more dollars out the door very soon.”
A web portal is available for city and county government officials
to apply for this grant funding: grants.wv.gov.
Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.
“We still have about 280 cities and counties that could still apply
for this money and we want to encourage everyone to submit an
application,” Gov. Justice said.
WEST VIRGINIA UPDATE
In his remarks during Friday’s briefing, Acting Commissioner of WorkForce
West Virginia Scott Adkins reported that
WorkForce has now distributed more than $200 million in Pandemic
Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits to more than 24,000 eligible
claimants across the state. However, Adkins added, the agency has
seen a recent increase in the number of fraudulent PUA claims.
“PUA benefits are intended for self-employed workers, who normally
do not qualify for unemployment benefits, but were authorized to
receive benefits by the CARES Act,” Adkins said. “WorkForce West
Virginia has received more than 35,000 fraudulent PUA claims just
since June 1.
Adkins added that individuals found to be committing fraud may be
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
IN SCHOOLS UPDATE
During his address Friday, Gov. Justice took time to discuss recent
accomplishments made through the Communities In Schools (CIS)
program in West Virginia
“This school year, 10 out of the 13 high schools with seniors in
the CIS program exceeded their school’s overall graduation rate,
which is a tremendous accomplishment and proof that this program is
changing the lives of our students and the communities where they
live,” Gov. Justice said. “And eight out of the 13 schools with
seniors in CIS had a 100 percent graduation rate.”
Working alongside partners in the local community, the CIS
program provides resources to engage students
in the classroom and to encourage better attendance and graduation
FISHING DAYS THIS WEEKEND
Gov. Justice also took time out of Friday’s briefing to remind all
West Virginians that this weekend – Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June
14 – are Free Fishing Days across the state.
“No fishing license is required for these two days,” Gov. Justice
said. “So, if you haven’t fished for awhile and you’re interested
in picking it back up again or if you’re new to fishing and you
want to learn, try it, it’s free.”
COMMUNITY TESTING: GRANT, GREENBRIER, HAMPSHIRE, HANCOCK, HARDY,
LOGAN, AND WOOD COUNTIES
Gov. Justice also offered a reminder that free community COVID-19
testing would be available today – Saturday, June 13 – in
Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Logan, and Wood
counties. Testing is available until 4 p.m.
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 locations within each county are available at the following
testing was performed yesterday – Friday, June 12 – in
Greenbrier, Hancock, Logan, and Wood counties only.
VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
On Friday, Gov. 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 now available online.
More than 600 free-feeding locations have been made available
through a multi-agency effort between the West Virginia National
Guard, the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia
Bureau of Senior Services, the West Virginia Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), and the United Way.
To-date, more than 5,000 people have used the online map.
If food distribution locations aren't available in some
communities, individuals are encouraged to call 211 for further
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided another overview of statewide
data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative
percentage of positive test results had dropped to
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.
June 11: Gov. Justice announces 2020 State Fair of West
Virginia will move forward as scheduled
OF WEST VIRGINIA
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that the State Fair of West
Virginia’s Board of Directors had voted to move forward with plans
to hold the 2020 State Fair as scheduled, from Aug. 13, 2020
through Aug. 22, 2020.
The Governor added that the State Fair will operate in accordance
with strict safety
guidelines already established for the reopening of all fairs,
festivals, amusement parks, and rides.
In the interest of public health, numerous programming changes
including limited crowds, changes to concerts and free
entertainment, and increased advance ticket sales will be announced
in the coming weeks. State Fair officials will also be implementing
measures for social distancing, enhanced cleaning procedures,
employee screening, and COVID-19 testing for carnival employees and
other groups working the fair. Specific procedures will be posted
on the State Fair
website when they become available.
STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that plans continue to be
made to transition State employees back into government office
“Many people have worked from home and they have done terrific
work, I don’t think we’ve skipped a beat,” Gov. Justice said. “I
want our state workers to know that their safety is paramount and
our highest concern.”
The Governor said that he wants Cabinet Secretaries to have the
flexibility to bring employees back in a way that makes sense for
their individual agency. Telework will continue for the most vulnerable
individuals and for offices that can maintain full services with
The West Virginia National Guard will help ensure each agency has
proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures in place for each
guidelines for the reopening of government office buildings are
ON FIRE DEPARTMENT FUNDRAISERS
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice clarified that fire departments are
not restricted from holding fundraiser events.
“All we ask is that you maintain social distance and hold these
fundraisers in a safe manner,” Gov. Justice said. “I urge our
people to know how important our volunteer fire departments are. We
should all try to find a way to support these great organizations
and the need that all of us have for them.”
DONATED TO FOOD BANK THROUGH WEST VIRGINIA ABCA
Additionally Thursday, Gov. Justice congratulated the West Virginia
Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) for facilitating a
$10,000 donation by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association
to the Mountaineer Food Bank to assist those adversely affected by
the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank them for stepping up and making this donation and
I especially want to thank our Commissioner of the WVABCA, Fred
Wooton, for his work with this organization,” Gov. Justice said. “I
also want to take this opportunity to thank all our West Virginia
food banks for their incredible work and service to West Virginians
throughout this pandemic. Please remember these organizations and,
if you can, please donate to them.”
June 10: Gov. Justice announces nursing home visitation,
graduation ceremonies to be allowed with limitations
HOME VISITATION PLAN ANNOUNCED
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Department of
Health and Human Resources unveiled a multi-phased
plan to resume visitation at West Virginia’s nursing homes,
with limitations, beginning as early as next Wednesday, June 17.
If, on June 17, a nursing home has had no active COVID-19 cases for
at least the past 14 consecutive days, visitation will be permitted
to resume, with certain restrictions in place.
Gov. Justice announced that, under the plan, appointments will be
required to visit any nursing home. Additional visitation
rules will be determined on a facility-by-facility basis, but may
include restrictions to the number of visitors permitted at once,
age restrictions, time limits, contact limitations, and more.
On March 12, Gov. Justice asked for
all nursing homes to ban visitation to
their facilities. On April 17, Gov. Justice issued an executive
order to test every nursing home resident
and employee – making
West Virginia the first state in the nation to
order the full testing of its nursing homes.
CEREMONY GUIDELINES RELEASED
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia
Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools Clayton
Burch have released guidelines
for counties to use to start holding in-person graduation
ceremonies beginning as early as Monday,
The guidelines require that all in-person graduations must be held
at outdoor venues and that events must be structured to allow for
adequate social distancing and for other safety measures to be
Six feet of social distancing is required at all times and face
masks or coverings are strongly encouraged. Several additional
safety precautions are also required.
REOPENINGS UNDERWAY WEDNESDAY
Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virignians that another
round of reopenings officially went into effect as part of the Governor’s
plan to restart the state’s economy.
Private campgrounds as well as state park campgrounds, cabins, and
lodges are now permitted to reopen to out-of-state guests, provided
that their stays do not exceed seven days.
The seven-day restriction does not apply to individuals who
maintain a semi-permanent or permanent resident at such
OUTDOOR, OPEN-AIR CONCERTS ALLOWED TO RESUME JULY 1
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that all outdoor,
open-air concerts will now be permitted to resume on Wednesday,
July 1, provided that strict safety guidelines are
being properly followed.
The reopening of all outdoor, open-air concerts pertains to
traditional concert venues, as well as bars or restaurants with
outdoor performance areas, so long as they allow for patrons to
have enough space to properly follow the appropriate safety
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that
outdoor, open-air concerts, specifically at fairs and festivals,
would be allowed to resume to coincide with the reopening of fairs
and festivals themselves on July 1.
WHITEWATER RAFTING GUIDANCE IN EFFECT
Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that new safety
guidelines for whitewater rafting businesses officially
went into effect.
Under the new guidelines, whitewater rafting groups are now allowed
to have up to eight guests and one guide per raft.
Additionally on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that, in the time
since churches have resumed in-person services, there have been a
handful of church-related outbreaks across the state, ranging
between five and eight cases per congregation.
“In total, we’ve seen at least 24 positive cases among church
members,” Gov. Justice said. “We all know that a lot of the
attendance at our churches are our elderly and, being the most
vulnerable of all, we surely don't want to get in a situation where
we are passing COVID-19 to our elderly.”
The Governor added that the primary factor in these outbreaks was
that the organizations had not adequately planned or put in place
social distancing or infection control guidelines.
“All I am doing now is encouraging you, in our church settings, to
follow the guidelines as far as every other pew, as far as social
distancing, as far as wearing masks,” Gov. Justice said. “We love
our church activities, we absolutely treasure them the most of all.
But I’m just cautioning you to take heed and be a little more
8: Gov. Justice outlines Week 7 of The Comeback; announces
reopening schedule for summer youth camps
WEEK 7 OF
“THE COMEBACK” UNDERWAY MONDAY
On Monday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the Week 7 phase of West
Virginia Strong – The Comeback was
officially underway, allowing for the reopening of several
additional types of operations, provided that all safety guidelines
are properly followed.
Operations permitted to resume operations on Monday, June 8,
to view guidelines for all low-contact sports
to view additional WVSSAC guidelines
YOUTH CAMPS ALLOWED TO RESUME ON JUNE 22
Also Monday, Gov. Justice announced that summer youth camps will be
allowed to resume operations on Monday, June 22, provided that all
guidelines are followed to help keep West
Virginians as safe as possible.
Both day camps and overnight camps will be permitted to reopen.
WITH VICE PRESIDENT PENCE AND GOVERNORS ACROSS AMERICA, GOV.
JUSTICE CELEBRATES THE GOODNESS OF WEST VIRGINIA
Gov. Justice explained that, prior to his address on Monday, he
took part in another videoconference call with Vice President Mike
Pence and governors from across the United States to discuss the
nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to thanking the Vice President along with President
Donald J. Trump and his entire administration for their tireless
work in fighting COVID-19, Gov. Justice also described what he
called a “miracle” happening in West Virginia.
“The West Virginia miracle is just this – we don’t have oceans or
Great Lakes on our borders. We’re sitting right in the middle of a
hotbed, with border counties all the way around our state,” Gov.
Justice said. “We’re within a rock’s throw of two-thirds of the
population of this country...and yet, our West Virginians are
pitching some of the greatest numbers on the planet.
“I said to all the states on the call: ‘Look at what has happened
right here in West Virginia,’” Gov. Justice continued. “‘We
are the example of goodness. We are the very place that all of you
should come to.’ That’s exactly what I told them because I am so
proud of what West Virginians have done.”
VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Also Monday, 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,
MORE THIS WEEK
nearly 6,000 pounds of catfish
to West Virginia's annual free fishing weekend,
the state Division of Natural Resources has stocked
nearly 6,000 pounds of channel catfish in 41 ponds and lakes around
"Summer catfish stockings have become really popular over
the last few years and we're excited to be giving anglers and their
families another chance to catch a fish and enjoy our state's
natural beauty," said DNR Director Stephen McDaniel.
"Whether it's trout in the spring or catfish in the summer,
our stocking program provides incredible fishing opportunities for
West Virginians throughout the year."
Catfish stocking starts each year as the spring trout
season winds down. It also coincides with the state's free
fishing weekend, which will be June 13-14 this year. During this
annual event, anglers may fish in state waters without having to
first buy a fishing license, trout stamp or national forest stamp.
National Guard, Peruvian military share best practices for COVID-19
Thursday, leadership of the West Virginia National Guard held a
video conference call with their State Partnership Program
counterparts in Perú to discuss COVID-19 military response efforts
and best practices.
The video conference was held in lieu of face-to-face meetings due
to travel restrictions still active during the ongoing pandemic.
Topics covered were securing and utilizing Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE) supplies, active response efforts including
decontamination missions and assisting public health officials with
testing, and overall force protection methods to keep members of
both military organizations safe and healthy.
ALSO THIS WEEK
to get your kids properly measured for a hunting bow
PARKS: Brad Reed named State Parks Chief
continues as State Superintendent of Schools
Scenarios for re-entry released
awards funding for expansion of Quick Response Teams
GUARD: WVNG helps safeguard primary elections against cyber
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Resources to support small businesses during
CULTURE & HISTORY: 2020 Appalachian String Band Music
PROTECTION: Adopt-A-Highway Volunteer Appreciation Day
Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce