West Virginia - COVID-19 Covered

West Virginia

Total Cases: 21,716 (October 25)
Fatalities: 424 (October 25)
Testing:
  • You can find your upcoming West Virginia COVID-19 testing sitehere. 
  • Governor Justice announced continued efforts to test susceptible populations, providing free, optional testing to all residents in counties experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. (May 21 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • West Virginia classifies essential services as: healthcare, public health operations, and insurance companies; grocery stores and pharmacies; food, beverage, and agriculture services; essential government functions; human service organizations and childcare providers; essential infrastructure; coal mining; manufacturing and distributions for critical products; transportation and travel related businesses; financial and insurance institutions; hardware and supply stores; critical trades; mail and delivery services; religious entities; education institutions; laundry services; home care services; residential facilities and shelters; professional services; media; hotels and motels; and funeral services. Details can be found here  

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • West Virginia released reopening guidance for businesses based on sector in each phase of reopening. Details for each sector can be found here.   

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Justice awarded $1 million to West Virginia food banks. (October 14)   
  • Governor Justice announced that beginning next week, WorkForce West Virginia will begin distributing an additional $400 per week in Lost Wages Assistance. (September 9 
  • Governor Justice has awarded an additional $1.1 million to help additional fairs and festivals across West Virginia. (August 18 
  • Governor Justice awarded $1.5 million to help more than 330 fairs and festivals that had to be cancelled. (August 13 
  • Governor Justice announced that $6.1 million in grant funding has been provided to West Virginia from the US Department of Justice. (June 16 
  • Governor Justice announced summer food assistance programs, improving coordination among all state, federal and community nutritional resources. (June 4 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Justice announced that applications for small businesses seeking to receive funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, are now online. (July 15 
  • Governor Justice and WorkForce West Virginia announced a new opportunity for self-employed workers to receive additional benefits available through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the CARES Act through the state. (April 21 

 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Justice announced that as a result of significant improvement in Monongalia County case numbers, bars will be allowed to reopen on October 13. (October 9 
  • Governor Justice announced certain types of music performances would be allowed to resume with limitations. (October 5 
  • Governor Justice issued an executive order reducing the statewide social gathering limit from 100 to 25 individuals, as well as closing all fairs, festivals, and similar events. The executive order also prohibits both indoor and outdoor concerts. (July 13) 
  • Governor Justice said penalties for not wearing masks could be instated if COVID-19 cases continue to spike. (July 10) 
  • Governor Justice announced that all West Virginians over nine years old must wear a mask covering in indoor places where social distancing cannot be maintained. (July 6) 
  • Governor Justice signed order allowing low-contact outdoor sporting events and in-person high school graduation ceremonies. (June 19) 
  • Governor Justice and the State Fair of West Virginia Board of Directors announced that the fair will proceed as planned from August 13-22 with increased safety and hygiene measures. (June 11) 
  • Governor Justice issued an executive order that will formally allow private and state park campgrounds, cabins, and lodges, to be open to out-of-state guests. (June 8) 
  • Governor Justice announced that public gatherings will be permitted to increase from 25 to 100 individuals effective as of June 5. (June 5 
  • Governor Justice issued an executive order that formally allows casinos and movie theaters to reopen. (June 5  

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Citing rising case numbers in West Virginia, Governor Justice announced that schools classified as orange (10 – 24.9 cases per 100,000) will move to remote learning. (September 11 
  • Governor Justice announced that schools in 46 of West Virginia’s 55 counties were permitted to resume inperson. The remaining nine counties will begin on a fully remote basis. (September 8) 
  • Governor Justice announced that he is placing $50 million of CARES Act money into a special fund for PPE, cleaning supplies and, if the need arises, additional testing at schools. (September 4 
  • Governor Justice announced that the USDA has granted West Virginia an extension on school meal waivers through December 31. (September 2 
  • Governor Justice unveiled a color-coded school re-entry that will be continually updated to determine the level of athletic and extracurricular activities permitted in each county for that week. (August 31 
  • Governor Justice announced that the West Virginia Department of Education has ensured all 55 county school systems have necessary PPE and cleaning supplies for the school year ahead. (August 28 
  • Governor Justice announced that high school marching bands, their auxiliary groups, and cheerleaders will be allowed to perform at high school football games this fall. (August 26 
  • Governor Justice announced K-12 re-entry metrics and protocols. (August 14 
  • Governor Justice announced the official reopening plan for West Virginia schools. The target date for school re-entry currently remains September 8. Each county will offer multiple options for instruction, including in-person, virtual, or hybrid model. (August 5 
  • West Virginia Department of Education released “re-entry and recovery guidance” for the coming school year. The guidelines include three scenarios, none of which include a traditional five-day schedule. Details can be found here 

State Higher Education:

  • Governor Justice announced that he is pledging $2.5 million to ensure that all college and university students and staff members are able to be tested for COVID-19 upon their return to campus. (July 31 
  • Governor Justice issued a formal order permitting public and private colleges and universities to reopen for the fall semester. (July 24 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com