West Virginia Week in Review - December 24, 2021


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Gov. Justice, religious leaders hold statewide Day of Prayer and Hope service
On Thursday, Gov. Justice joined religious leaders from across West Virginia today to conduct a virtual statewide Day of Prayer and Hope service.

“In West Virginia, we’re proud of a lot of different things. We’re proud that we’ve got our state doing well in lots of different areas. But what we’re most proud of in this state is our faith,” Gov. Justice said. “So we come to you, again, and I ask for you to join me in prayer as we continue to face the challenge of COVID-19 as we approach Christmas.”

Leaders from many different religious backgrounds participated in the event to provide all West Virginians, no matter their religious denomination, an opportunity to pray as one people.

Gov. Justice also issued a proclamation formally declaring Thursday as an official Day of Prayer and Hope throughout West Virginia.

The service also included musical performances by several students from across West Virginia.
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Gov. Justice announces program to improve education, retention, and recruitment of nurses
During Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will invest $48 million in a new program to improve and expand nursing education, retention, and recruitment in the state.

“We have a shortage of nurses right now in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “Last year alone, 1,700 West Virginia nurses didn’t renew their license, and 68% of them said the reason they didn’t is because they were just plain tired.

“Our hospitals are overrun and understaffed,” Gov. Justice continued. “That’s why we need to start this program to aggressively recruit, staff, and train more and more nurses.”
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Gov. Justice provides update on allocation of remaining CARES Act funds

Gov. Justice also took time this week to provide a detailed breakdown of the state’s allocation of remaining discretionary funds appropriated to the state by Congress through the CARES Act.

Previous allocations of CARES Act dollars resulted in a remaining balance of approximately $122.8 million.

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DHHR reminds of important behavioral health resource during holidays
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reminds parents and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic to utilize Help4WV’s Children’s Crisis and Referral Line instead of emergency departments for children suffering from behavioral health issues.  
The Children’s Crisis and Referral Line can interrupt behavioral health crises by connecting families with behavioral health services in their communities. The option to call, text, or chat is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 844-HELP4WV or 844-435-7498 (call or text) or by chat at https://www.help4wv.com/ccl. In crisis situations, the helpline links families with regional mobile crisis response and stabilization teams who can help de-escalate by phone or respond in person if the family chooses.
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Massive I-70 bridge project making good progress, WVDOH announces
Although work in and around Interstate 70 in the Wheeling area will continue into next year, all 26 bridges in a massive $215 million bridge replacement and rehabilitation project are either completely or partially open to traffic, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced.
Work on the project, funded through Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program, began in 2019. The project entails repairing or replacing bridges, entrance and exit ramps and highway work in and around Wheeling.
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WVDOH to open new St. Albans entrance and exit ramps on Thursday as part of I-64 widening project
New westbound entrance and exit ramps for the St. Albans exit of Interstate 64 are scheduled to open to traffic by the end of the day on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced. The ramps are part of a massive widening project on I-64 funded through Gov. Jim Justice's $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
The new ramps are part of a $224 million project to widen I-64 to six lanes from Nitro to the US 35 interchange near Scott Depot. The project also includes construction of a new bridge adjacent to the existing Nitro-St. Albans Bridge and replacing several smaller bridges between Nitro and Scott Depot.
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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