West Virginia Week in Review - March 27, 2021

3/27/2021

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Gov. Justice makes vaccinations available to all West Virginians age 16 and older
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to all state residents age 16 and older, beginning immediately.

On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that, with new COVID-19 variants being identified in West Virginia, pandemic response leaders will now balance the state’s vaccination strategy with targeting the reduction of transmission, along with targeting our most vulnerable citizens to save lives and reduce hospitalizations.

As a result, an increased emphasis will be placed on vaccinated West Virginians age 16 to 29, particularly those in high schools and colleges or universities, in order to reduce transmission numbers among this population and slow the spread of variants.
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“Save Our Wisdom”: Three fixed-location clinics being set up in Berkeley, Kanawha, and Monongalia counties for West Virginians age 65 and older
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that, at his direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force will be setting up three fixed-location vaccination clinics across the state to ensure that every West Virginian age 65 and older has access to a vaccine. These clinics will be added in Berkeley, Kanawha, and Monongalia counties and will run from Monday through Friday.
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Walmart to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines next week
On Friday, Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer announced that beginning next week, West Virginia will partner with Walmart through the Federal Pharmacy Program to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to additional West Virginians.
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Gov. Justice: Manufacturers and small businesses to facilitate additional vaccination clinics 
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that, under his direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force is beginning partnerships with manufacturers and small businesses across West Virginia to facilitate clinics at their facilities and offices. The clinics will be open to all their employees and their families.
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Gov. Justice signs executive order allowing live music performances, lifts restrictions on fairs and festivals
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he would be signing Executive Order 9-21, allowing all types of live music performances to resume, effective at midnight tonight.

The executive order also allows all summer camps to resume on May 1, 2021.

On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that all fairs, festivals, and similar events will be allowed to resume, beginning Saturday, May 1, 2021.
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Gov. Justice says color-coded county map to no longer determine high school schedules
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he would be signing Executive Order 10-21, clarifying that the DHHR’s color-coded County Alert System map will no longer be used to determine high school schedules in West Virginia.

All high schools will join all of West Virginia’s Pre-K-8 schools in being open full-time and will remain open unless there is an active outbreak that would require a particular classroom within a school to close for safety reasons, a determination that will be made by local health and education officials.
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Gov. Justice announces Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program now accepting applications
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that a program developed to help renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19 is open and accepting applications.

The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program, administered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), offers direct financial assistance to renters who have lost their job, had their income reduced, or suffered a significant cost or financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Justice first announced the creation of this program in January.
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Gov. Justice holds State Income Tax Repeal Town Halls all over West Virginia
This week, Gov. Justice started with a business leader roundtable in Charleston Monday and then hosted four additional town halls across the state to discuss his plan to repeal the state personal income tax with residents.
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Gov. Justice submits legislation to create State Recovery and Hope Office
Gov. Justice announced Thursday that he has submitted to the West Virginia Legislature a bill that will create an all-new State Recovery and Hope Office. The function of the office will be to streamline and coordinate efforts of various state, federal, local, and private programs and agencies working to assist West Virginians who are battling substance use disorder.
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Gov. Justice hosts celebratory trout stocking and Gold Rush kickoff event at Coopers Rock State Forest
Gov. Justice joined West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel and West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby Tuesday for a celebratory golden rainbow trout stocking at Coopers Rock Lake in Coopers Rock State Forest. The ceremony marked the official start of the fourth annual West Virginia Gold Rush. This year’s 12-day long event features the stocking of 50,000 golden rainbow trout in 62 lakes and streams across the state, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests.
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Gov. Justice announces grand reopening of historic Hotel Morgan in Morgantown
Morgantown’s popular High Street now has a high-end boutique hotel open for visitors. On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced the grand reopening of Hotel Morgan, a historic lodging property that has been reimagined after more than $15 million in new investment.
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Gov. Justice approves more than $1.78M in Roads to Prosperity highways projects
Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that he has approved more than $1.78 million in Roads To Prosperity highway projects in March, including an emergency repair to a slip in Summers County.
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Gov. Justice congratulates first three cities selected for Brad & Alys Smith remote work program
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice sent congratulations after West Virginia University’s announcement that Morgantown, Shepherdstown, and Lewisburg have been selected as the first three cities selected to participate in the Brad & Alys Smith remote work program.
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Gov. Justice attends dedication ceremony for new Marshall University Aviation Maintenance Technology Program
Gov. Justice took part in a dedication ceremony Friday at Huntington Tri-State Airport to celebrate the opening of a new Aviation Maintenance Technology Program that will be offered at Marshall University. Marshall University and Mountwest Community & Technical College, in cooperation with the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), have signed an agreement to offer a joint Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree for the education of aviation maintenance technicians.
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WVDOH: Nearly $1 million in pothole patching already completed this spring
West Virginia Division of Highways road crews have spent 18,185 hours, $988,214 dollars, and used 3,769 tons of asphalt patching potholes in the Mountain State since asphalt plants began to reopen at the end of February.
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WVDOH announces project awards totaling more than $40M
A $6.7 million contract to build part of the Beckley Bypass was among construction contracts awarded by the West Virginia Division of Highways in March. Nine bridge repair or replacement projects were also awarded, including a $5.6 million contract for much-needed repairs and maintenance to the Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Weirton with Steubenville, Ohio on US 22.
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West Virginia schools awarded $10,000, students compete to prevent underage drinking
This week, the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration announced the winners of the 8th annual NO School Spirits Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. This year, first place and the $5,000 prize was awarded to Point Pleasant High School in Mason County.
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John Blue Bridge replacement project on track for Fall 2021 completion
A project replacing the John Blue Bridge in Hampshire County is on track to be completed this fall. The $12 million project will replace the existing 420-foot, three span truss bridge with a new structure 478 feet in length. The bridge carries WV 28 across the South Branch of the Potomac River near Springfield.
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Also this week:

In accordance with President Biden’s proclamation, Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff through Saturday, March 27

West Virginia Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Now Eligible to Acquire Federal Surplus Property Thanks to State Agency for Surplus Property

Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Available Today; Closes April 30, 2021

WV DMV warns customers of text message phishing scams

Marshall University, West Virginia University to establish statewide infection prevention network
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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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