Safer At Home order

​​What does this mean?

  • West Virginians are still strongly encouraged to leave home only for essential activities.
  • Staying at home remains critically important for seniors, people with compromised immune systems, and other vulnerable populations.
  • Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay at home as well.
  • Businesses defined as non-essential can start re-opening by category, according to the schedule set by West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.
  • As of Tuesday, July 14, purely social gatherings are now limited to 25 people.
  • Social distancing is strongly encouraged, and required in certain settings.
  • Wearing a CDC-recommended mask or face covering is strongly encouraged, and required in certain settings.

Questions and Answers about “Safer at Home”

Q: If my employer re-opens, am I required to return to work?

A: Workers temporarily laid off because of COVID-19 must return to work if they are called back if they wish to remain eligible for unemployment benefits. Refusing to return to a job when there is available work and continuing to file unemployment claims can be considered fraud and potentially disqualify an individual from receiving benefits.

WorkForce West Virginia is providing information and resources for both workers and employers.

Q: What if my employer re-opens, but I am among those strongly encouraged to remain at home because of an underlying health condition or family/living situation? 

A: Employees should communicate their situations clearly to employers, and seek to discuss such options as working from home. Ultimately, workers who wish to remain eligible for unemployment benefits must return to work if they are called back.

Workers who quit a job without good cause are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If a workplace resumes operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, workers applying for unemployment benefits may be required to provide supporting documentation when their claim is adjudicated.

WorkForce West Virginia has additional information and resources.

Q: What if my employer re-opens, but at reduced hours from what I normally worked?
A: Workers who are called back by their employer but work reduced hours may still qualify for unemployment benefits. These workers should continue to file weekly claims at and report all earnings. If a worker is earning more than their previous weekly benefit amount, they will not be eligible for benefits that week.

Visit WorkForce West Virginia​ for additional information and resources.


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