West Virginia Week in Review - February 20, 2021


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Gov. Justice lessens restrictions on several types of businesses, schools, social gatherings, and more
On Friday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that, after numerous discussions with members of the West Virginia pandemic response leadership team and other state leaders regarding the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases and the increasing number of vaccinated West Virginians, he has decided to issue a series of executive orders, lessening restrictions on several types of businesses, as well as schools, social gatherings, and more.

The executive orders include:
  • Executive Order 5-21, clarifying the existing prohibition on live indoor music performances.
  • Executive Order 6-21, increasing the capacity limit for all restaurants and bars to 75 percent seating capacity while maintaining social distancing; and raising the social gathering limit to 75 people.
  • Executive Order 7-21, clarifying that all Pre-K-8 students in all counties statewide should be in school.
Additionally, at the direction of Gov. Justice, the DHHR has amended its rules on capacity limitations for small businesses, retail stores, and grocery stores.
MORE DETAILS: COVID-19 Restriction Updates
All of these updates require individuals and businesses to continue following all applicable safety guidelines including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing.

Click here to view all guidance documents
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Gov. Justice announces upgrades to state Vaccine Distribution Dashboard
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice and leaders of West Virginia’s nationally renowned COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration program announced upgrades to the state Vaccine Distribution Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab).

The improved dashboard now features an interactive map of the state, allowing users to view vaccine data for each individual county as well as all of West Virginia. 
video tutorial on how to use the new dashboard layout is now available.

As of Friday, West Virginia had administered 258,451 first doses and 154,798 second doses, totaling 413,249 doses administered overall statewide out of a total allotment of 424,200 doses from the federal government; an overall administration rate of 97.4 percent.

More than 269,000 West Virginians have signed up to be added to the pre-registration list. All West Virginians over the age of 16 are encouraged to pre-register at vaccinate.wv.gov.
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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia surpasses 100 percent vaccine administration rate for both first and second doses combined
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has become the only state in the nation to achieve an overall vaccine administration rate over 100 percent for both first and second round vaccine doses combined.

“This is a monstrous achievement,” Gov. Justice said. “For the first time ever, we have been excess of 100 percent. It cannot possibly be any better than that.”
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Gov. Justice mourns passing of second corrections officer to COVID-19
On Monday, Gov. Justice took time to mourn the loss of a long-time West Virginia correctional officer, who passed away from COVID-19 over the weekend. Lieutenant Delmar Dean, who had been with the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation for more than two decades, died last Saturday while hospitalized for COVID-19. He had been battling the disease for several months.

Dean was 49 years old and was serving at the Northern Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Moundsville. His death is the second of a West Virginia correctional employee attributed to COVID-19.
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WV DHHR: COVID-19 UK variant detected in West Virginia
Friday evening, the DHHR announced that three cases of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, or more commonly referred to as the UK Variant, have been detected in West Virginia. Forty-two other states have reported 1,523 cases, including all the bordering states to West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has collaborated with West Virginia University and Marshall University to conduct whole genome sequencing which is used to detect this variant. The confirmed cases are in the north central region of West Virginia.

“Now that we have this confirmation, as Governor Justice always says; it’s not time to be fearful, it’s time to be smart,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “All West Virginians should continue hand washing, social distancing, proper mask wearing, testing, and everyone should get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”
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Gov. Justice: West Virginia emergency crews team up in response to hazardous winter weather
Several State agencies have teamed up on emergency response efforts in southwestern West Virginia after a stretch of severe winter weather, including a series of snow and ice storms, caused numerous power outages, road blockages, and other hazards over the past week.
Following Gov. Jim Justice’s State of Emergency declaration in Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne counties, an array of emergency response teams sprang into action. The West Virginia Emergency Management Division coordinated with several State agencies, including the West Virginia State Police, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Division of Highways, West Virginia Department of Environmental Resources, and others, including several local and county partners, to clear roadways, help utility crews reach downed power lines, perform wellness checks on residents, and more.
The WVNG is utilizing three LMTVs (Light Medium Tactical Vehicles) and two Polaris UTV teams, supplied with three chainsaw teams and other debris-clearing tools. The teams are being used to check on those in rural areas without power and to clear routes while advancing into weather-stricken areas.

WVDOH crews are moving quickly to assist their co-workers in the areas of the state hit hardest by the ice storms that have swept across West Virginia. District 1 is receiving extra help from District 7, District 8, and District 9. Meanwhile, District 2 is receiving extra help from District 4 and District 10, with additional assistance expected from District 5 next week. In total, 11 WVDOH crews are currently working in District 1, while 30 crews are working in District 2.
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Gov. Justice submits legislation to make West Virginia a haven for remote workers by reforming corporate tax laws
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that he has submitted to the West Virginia Legislature a bill that will reform West Virginia’s corporate income tax laws to make West Virginia a haven for remote workers from all across the country.

The idea was first announced during Gov. Justice’s 2021 State of the State address.

The bill has been filed for introduction with the West Virginia Legislature and will be introduced in the coming days. If passed, the bill will modernize West Virginia’s corporate income tax structure, incentivizing not only remote workers but also businesses looking to plant their operations in West Virginia.
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Gov. Justice issues statement on expansion of West Virginia Toyota plant, bringing 100 new jobs to region
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice issued the following statement after Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia’s (TMMWV) announcement that, due to increased customer demand, the company will invest $210 million to upgrade its facility in Buffalo, WV, which will result in an additional 100 new jobs being added at this location:

“Toyota’s commitment to increase its investment in West Virginia and into our hard-working West Virginians prove they continue to be a wonderful business partner right here in the Mountain State. This is such exciting news for West Virginia’s business community as well as our families that businesses are choosing to grow their organizations here. Toyota is a wonderful example of how a global company can be successful right here in West Virginia."
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Gov. Justice: WV Game Changer announces partnership to bring substance use prevention to more students
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice, the “Head Coach and General Manager” of the WV Game Changer initiative, announced that a coalition of private collaborators, including WV Game Changer, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, and the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, is developing a plan to bring a new, comprehensive, evidence-based approach to substance use prevention to students and schools throughout the state.

Another collaborator in the effort is the BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) Center, a national nonprofit dedicated to educational best practices.
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First Lady Cathy Justice invites 7th grade students to participate in St. Patrick’s Day essay contest
First Lady Cathy Justice is inviting all 7th-grade students across West Virginia to participate in a St. Patrick’s Day essay contest. All 7th-grade students from public schools, private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, are all welcome to participate in the latest installment of the First Lady’s “Student Artist Series.”

Eligible students are encouraged to think about the following Irish proverb:

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”

Then, in 500 words or less, write an essay about a friend they feel lucky to have and explain why.
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West Virginia WIC continues remote services for families
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health recently renewed federal waivers allowing for continued safe operation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service allow current WIC participants and eligible families to be certified, obtain benefits and receive nutrition and breastfeeding education virtually as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
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Also this week:

Second Cycle of Rural Youth Engagement through Public Art Grants Available

Online Ordering Now Available at Food Lion for SNAP Recipients

Gov. Justice signs Executive Order 4-21

WVDNR reminds anglers of new fishing regulations

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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