West Virginia - COVID-19 Covered

West Virginia

Total Cases: 227,506 (September 23)
Tests Administered: 133,445 (March 6)
Fatalities: 3,467 (September 23)
Testing:
  • Information on West Virginia COVID-19 testing sites can be found here. 
  • West Virginia partnered with Vault Health to offer its residents free at-home COVID-19 tests. (December 2) 

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 announced $43 million in insurance credits to help West Virginian businesses. (November 9)   
  • 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:

  • West Virginia state senators announced that a $1.5 million federal grant would help set up an emergency loan fund for businesses affected by the pandemic. (March 5) 
  • Governor Justice announced $43 million in insurance credits to help West Virginian businesses. (November 9) 

 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Beginning June 20, West Virginia will give out $1 million and various other prizes – including hunting and fishing licenses, hunting rifles, trucks, and vacations – to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (June 3) 
  • All vaccinated West Virginians between the ages of 16 and 35 can register to receive $100 in either a savings bond or a gift card. (May 20) 
  • Fully vaccinated West Virginians no longer need to wear masks in indoor public places. The West Virginia Indoor Face Covering Requirement expires on June 20. (May 14) 
  • A mobile drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic has been set up at the West Virginia Lottery Headquarters parking lot in downtown Charleston. (May 14) 
  • Governor Justice announced that the statewide face covering requirement would be lifted on June 20. (May 10) 
  • West Virginia will offer a $100 savings bond to each person between the ages of 16 and 35 who chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (April 27) 
  • Governor Justice announced that West Virginia would immediately open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 years of age and older. (March 22) 
  • Beginning March 22, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, large health system clinics, and primary care clinics will begin offering vaccines to their own lists of recipients. (March 16) 
  • Governor Justice announced he would allow full capacity to resume at small businesses, restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, and museums where social distancing is possible. The state’s mask mandate would remain in effect. (March 5) 
  • West Virginians 50 years of age and older, education workers 45 to 50 years of age, and those 16 years of age and older with certain medical conditions are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (March 3) 
  • The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health received funding from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors to promote healthy living and reduce social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities program. (March 1) 
  • Governor Justice announced a series of COVID-19 easements. As all teachers and school service personnel older than 50 will have received a second dose of vaccine by the week of February 22, all counties will send students from Kindergarten through 8th grade back to school. Additionally, the restaurant capacity limit will increase from 50 percent to 75 percent. (February 19) 
  • Governor Justice announced that West Virginia would be able to increase its COVID-19 vaccine supply through a contract with Walgreens. (February 10) 
  • Beginning January 25, residents will be able to access a new online vaccination scheduling tool to help streamline the state’s vaccination efforts. (January 22) 
  • Governor Justice announced that public vaccination clinics would be made available to residents in all 55 counties by February 1. (January 22) 
  • Governor Justice announced that residents and staff members at long-term care facilities began receiving their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (January 7) 
  • West Virginia administered over 30,000 of its 60,875 total doses – the highest vaccination rate in the country. (December 28) 
  • Over 10,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to West Virginia. (December 15) 
  • The US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia ruled that Governor Justice’s mask mandate was reasonable and would remain in effect. (November 25) 
  • Governor Justice announced that bars would 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 prohibited both indoor and outdoor concerts. (July 13) 
  • Governor Justice said penalties for not wearing masks could be instated if COVID-19 cases continued to spike. (July 10) 
  • Governor Justice announced that all West Virginians over nine years of age would be required to wear a mask in indoor places where social distancing could not be maintained. (July 6) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • West Virginia Department of Education released “re-entry and recovery guidance” for the coming school year. The guidelines include three scenarios, none of which included a traditional five-day schedule. Details can be found here. 
  • West Virginia public schools will reopen January 21. (January 7) 
  • Governor Justice announced that schools classified as orange (10 – 24.9 cases per 100,000) would move to remote learning. (September 11) 
  • Governor Justice announced $50 million in CARES Act funding would be used for PPE, cleaning supplies and additional testing at schools. (September 4) 
  • Governor Justice announced that the USDA had 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. (August 31) 
  • Governor Justice announced K-12 re-entry metrics and protocols. (August 14) 

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 [email protected]