West Virginia Week in Review - May 15, 2021

5/15/2021

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Gov. Justice lifts face covering requirement for fully vaccinated West Virginians
On Friday, Gov. Justice outlined the CDC’s recent announcement that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size. The Governor went on to announce that he would be signing an executive order to immediately modify West Virginia’s face covering requirement to follow the updated CDC guidance for fully vaccinated West Virginians.
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Vaccinations underway for children ages 12-15
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that after the U.S. FDA and the U.S. CDC both authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12-15 earlier this week, West Virginia vaccine distribution officials have now begun administering vaccinations to children in this age range. Boone, Brooke, and Putnam counties held clinics this week in schools for children ages 12-15.
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West Virginia to end participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs next month
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs, effective June 19, 2021, at midnight. This change includes the additional $300 weekly payment as well as benefits for self-employed. Any weeks filed before June 19 that are eligible under federal program requirements will continue to be processed.
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Gov. Justice announces more than 80% of West Virginians age 65 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that more than 80% of West Virginians age 65 and older have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s amazing. It's great stuff,” Gov. Justice said. “This is the number that I’m constantly looking at and so proud of. We got after vaccinating our elderly folks. It started with those 80 and up, and then it drifted on down to 65.”
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West Virginia transferring excess doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Delaware
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has agreed to transfer approximately 6,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the State of Delaware. At this time, Delaware has no federal allocations from which to order. The transfer of these soon-to-expire doses will have no impact on vaccine distribution in West Virginia.
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“Big Three” credit rating agencies affirm Roads to Prosperity bond ratings
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that all of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies have affirmed their Roads To Prosperity Highway Bond ratings ahead of West Virginia’s third sale of road bonds, which is scheduled to take place within the coming weeks. These agencies – Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Group – reaffirmed their bond ratings of “Aa2”, “AA-”, and “AA”, respectively.
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Gov. Justice: U.S. FCC using stimulus money for an Emergency Broadband Assistance Program
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is using stimulus money for an Emergency Broadband Assistance Program. The $3.2 billion program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. The program also provides a discount of up to $100 per household toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet.
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Governor urges West Virginians to avoid hoarding fuel; Colonial Pipeline not a significant fuel source for West Virginia
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to urge West Virginians to avoid unnecessarily hoarding large amounts of gasoline amid recent concerns in other states regarding the Colonial Pipeline. The Governor also announced that, at his request, West Virginia was added to the amended Regional Emergency Declaration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which will allow easier transportation of fuel to affected areas.
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Gov. Justice announces tickets now available for new Adventure Lake at Tygart Lake State Park
Gov. Justice announced Tuesday that Tygart Lake State Park will open a new Adventure Lake for park visitors to enjoy. Gov. Justice and representatives from West Virginia State Parks will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 18 to mark the official grand opening of the Adventure Lake. The Adventure Lake, made possible by a partnership between the West Virginia State Parks system and ACE Adventure Resort, will feature 25 slides, obstacles, and other inflatables, as well as a sandy beach area with lounge chairs.
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Gov. Justice announces Lotus Recovery Centers to convert old Bath High School in Berkeley Springs into residential substance use treatment facility
Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that Lotus Recovery Centers, a subsidiary of Lotus Healthcare Group, has purchased the old Bath High School in downtown Berkeley Springs and will perform a $3 million renovation to the building, converting it into an all-new residential substance use treatment center to serve the citizens of Morgan County.
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First Lady holds Dance Like a Chicken Festival at Governor's Mansion
On Friday, First Lady Cathy Justice hosted the Dance Like A Chicken Festival for Communities In Schools students from Bridgeview and Chesapeake Elementary at the Governor's Mansion. The main event was a “Chicken Dance Contest” and it was judged in two different age groups, K-2 and 3-5th. Students also enjoyed lunch provided by Chick-fil-A and after the dance competition, 12 names were drawn for a bike giveaway thanks to Walmart.
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Corridor G, Oakwood Intersection project nearing completion
Upgrades to improve traffic flow at Charleston’s congested Oakwood Road interchange on Corridor G are scheduled to be complete by August. The project includes lengthening and widening turn lanes in the area and building two new Restricted Crossing U-Turns, or R-CUTs, one at the intersection of 119 and Lucado Road and one at the intersection of 119 and Hickory Road.
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2021 Congressional Youth Art Competition winners announced
Nine young artists have been selected as winners in the annual Congressional Art Competition, which is on display in the Balcony Gallery of the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston through June 7. The exhibition is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, in partnership with the West Virginia Congressional Delegation.
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WVDEP partners with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on mapping project to celebrate American Wetlands Month
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) to complete new wetland maps covering 2.8 million acres across eight counties in West Virginia.
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Click It or Ticket high visibility enforcement runs May 14-31
The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt during the month of May, ahead of an expected busy summer travel season. The GHSP is working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The statewide seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 14 to 31, 2021.
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WVDOT accepts bids remotely for 16 projects
A project to replace an important Monroe County bridge is among 16 projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The West Virginia Division of Highways is reviewing the bids and hopes to award contracts for these projects soon.
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Warm weather, migration patterns create optimal conditions for hybrid striped bass fishing
With temperatures warming up across West Virginia, anglers targeting hybrid striped bass have more than favorable spring weather to look forward to in May. Hybrid striped bass are a cross between striped and white bass. Despite being sterile, these fish migrate upstream in the spring in an attempt to spawn. Because hybrids don’t reproduce in the wild, WVDNR fisheries biologists purchases hybrid striped bass fry each year and raises them to fingerling size at warmwater hatcheries before stocking them in waters around the state. 
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, May 15, in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day

Online Ordering Now Available at Giant Eagle for SNAP Recipients

WVDEP hosting two tire collections in May

Notre Dame High School Student to Represent West Virginia in Poetry Out Loud National Finals on May 27, 2021
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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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