West Virginia Week in Review - November 7, 2020

11/7/2020

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Gov. Justice announces color-coded county map system will continue to determine status of athletic competitions
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice explained that he has recently held several discussions with state health and education experts to determine the best way to approach athletic and other extracurricular competitions involving schools in counties with elevated levels of risk for community spread of COVID-19 – at a time where case numbers continue to reach record highs in West Virginia and across the United States.

The WVDE School Alert System map, which is updated each Saturday at 5 p.m., determines each county’s official color status for the entire week.

Athletic and extracurricular guidance in each of the five color categories is as follows:

RED: All school-related athletic and extracurricular activities are suspended immediately.

ORANGE: Athletic and extracurricular activities limited to conditioning only, as defined by WVSSAC. Marching band activities must be limited to outdoors only. Instruments permitted only when students are stationary and distanced in pods.

GOLD: Schools can only compete in-county or with other gold counties. Athletic and extracurricular activities permit parents/guardians only. According to WVSSAC guidelines, cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games. 

YELLOW & GREEN: Athletic and extracurricular activities permit immediate household family members and grandparents. According to WVSSAC guidelines, cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games.
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Gov. Justice urges West Virginians to take advantage of abundant free testing opportunities to help slow the spread
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice once again called on all West Virginians to take the initiative to take advantage of the numerous free testing opportunities across the state.

“You’ve got to show up to be tested,” Gov. Justice said. “For crying out loud, if I’m willing to commit the dollars, if I’m willing to put a stake in the sand and make testing available to where you don’t have to run all over kingdom come to be tested – to make getting tested so easy it’s unbelievable – then you’ve got to do you part and show up.”
On Friday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 48 counties that have upcoming free testing events scheduled for the near future through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative. This testing is available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals. Proof of insurance is not required. Attendees should bring identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, to help in returning test results. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Each county reaching Red or Orange status in the DHHR's County Alert System map (Click "County Alert System" tab) is required to set up at least one free testing site within the same day. Each county reaching Gold status is required to set up at least one free testing site within 48 hours.
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Gov. Justice awards $500,000 grant to Town of Rainelle for major streetscape improvement project
In celebration of yet another day of betterment in southern West Virginia, Gov. Justice joined local leaders for an event Monday to award a $500,000 Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grant to the Town of Rainelle that will pay for a major streetscape enhancement project on Main Street.

The Governor also announced that the Town of Rainelle has been awarded a separate federal grant, worth $277,716 from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation program, to fund the purchase and installation of three generators in the Town of Rainelle; one at the water plant, one at the substation, and one at the town hall / police department building.
In the past two weeks, Gov. Justice awarded 47 TARTP grants, worth a combined total of over $8.6 million, for similar improvement projects all across West Virginia. The TARTP grants are going to projects in 29 counties in several regions across the state.

West Virginia Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program (TARTP) grants help towns and cities build and improve sidewalks, lighting, trails, and more. The program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation and funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
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Gov. Justice announces final revenue collections for October
On Monday, Gov. Justice took time to announce that West Virginia’s final revenue collections for the month of October came in at $21.3 million above estimates, nearly $1 million higher than the preliminary surplus projected by officials with the West Virginia Department of Revenue during their briefing on the state’s finances on Friday, October 30. West Virginia's year-to-date general revenue collections also increased, coming in at $111.7 million above estimate and 9.8% above prior year receipts. West Virginia has now banked surpluses in each of the first four months of Fiscal Year 2021.
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Gov. Justice appoints Dr. Stan Maynard to State Board of Education
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced the appointment of Arthur “Stan” Maynard, Ed.D. to the West Virginia State Board of Education. Dr. Maynard’s appointment is effective immediately. He will fill the expired seat formerly held by David G. Perry. The term will last through Nov. 4, 2029. Dr. Maynard is currently the Executive Director of the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development at Marshall University. He resides in Huntington.
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Gov. Justice reminds West Virginians of CARES Act relief funds allocated for utility bills
Gov. Justice provided a reminder this week that $25 million of CARES Act relief funds allocated to assist qualifying West Virginians pay their utility bills is being distributed across the state. The money will go to local Public Service Districts so they can pass it along to customers.

Customers of electric, natural gas, water, and sewer utility companies who have experienced economic hardship and/or uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, causing them to have unpaid utility bills from the period of March 1 – July 31 of this year, may receive financial assistance to pay those bills.

Qualifying customers will receive a letter and application in the mail. Customers must complete and return the application by Thursday, November 12, 2020.
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Gov. Justice recognizes Professional Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapists Technologists Day
In recognition of West Virginia's professional medical imaging and radiation therapy technologists, who have spent countless hours over the past eight months working on the front lines, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals and homes across the state, Gov. Justice has issued a proclamation, formally designating Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, as Professional Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Technologists Day in West Virginia.
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First Lady Cathy Justice announces Halloween Coloring Contest winners
Last Saturday, First Lady Cathy Justice announced the winners of her Halloween Coloring Contest. The First Lady received 3,485 entries from 50 counties and was excited to see the creativity of West Virginia’s children. First place was awarded to Ariella K., a second grader from Ridgedale Elementary School. This contest was the seventh installment of the First Lady’s “Student Artist Series” initiative, an art program started to promote the importance of the arts in schools throughout West Virginia.
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West Virginia Tourism Office releases final fall foliage report
Fall color has peaked in all areas of the state as the West Virginia Tourism Office released its final autumn forecast for 2020. The forecast, prepared with assistance from the West Virginia Division of Forestry, is the last in a series of fall foliage updates the Tourism Office has released this year. Travelers still exploring this fall are encouraged to check the status of individual businesses before taking a trip. A statewide indoor face covering requirement is in effect and visitors are encouraged to maintain a safe social distance when traveling the state. As you travel down these fall-lined country roads, post and share photos using #AlmostHeaven.
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2021 Roadsides in Bloom calendar now available to order
The 2021 Roadsides in Bloom calendar is now available to order. The free calendar, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Adopt A Highway program, includes 12 pictures of West Virginia wildflowers growing naturally along state roadways or in Operation Wildflower beds. The pictures were chosen from dozens of entries submitted by photographers from West Virginia and surrounding states.
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New exhibit on display at Culture Center in Charleston
The West Virginia State Museum is featuring the exhibition Mud, Hands, and Heat: Producing Pottery through the Centuries in the Balcony Gallery of the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The exhibition is free and open to the public, Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and runs through February 6. This exhibition of West Virginia pottery from the museum collections is reflective of donations of historic as well as contemporary creations covering over three centuries. The earliest pottery is from William Crickfield who created a churn that dates from 1825. Later pieces include Large Vesselby Jeff Diehl of Meadow Bridge, winner of the Award of Excellence in the 2013 West Virginia Juried Exhibition.
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Gov. Justice encourages all West Virginians to get a flu shot
Once again this week, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to remind and encourage all West Virginians to get their flu vaccine. According to health officials, everyone 6 months and older should receive this vaccine.

Locate a flu vaccine near you through the DHHR website.
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Also this week:

Jones Assumes Role as Senior Enlisted Leader for the W.Va. Guard

Division of Highways extends comment period on Greenbag Road Improvement Project in Monongalia County

Keeping ConnectED: Superintendent Burch speaks to pre-service teacher

Fall 2020 issue of GOLDENSEAL Magazine now available (WVDACH)
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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

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