Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.
“In a lot of ways I’ll be happy for April to get gone and we can go back to March as well,” said Gov. Justice as he announced the 41st death of a West Virginian.
Thursday is the first day of the “West Virginia Strong: The Comeback” plan. This the beginning of Week 1. Monday, May 4 will be the beginning of Week 2. On Monday the Stay at Home order will be lifted. This will be replaced by a “Safer at Home” order.
Businesses will be allowed to open under the new order. This does not require them to open. An announcement will be made about how Week 3 will proceed on Monday.
DHHR will release information on the process for day care centers later on Thursday, April 30. There is a Country Roads Food Drive being hosted by the United Way on May 5. It will aim to feed the hungry across the Mountain State.
The Governor announced there will be a return of horse racing starting on May 14. This will be done without spectators. People may see the efforts to prepare for this going on at the state’s tracks between now and the 14th.
Dr. Clay Marsh, the West Virginia Coronavirus Czar, said they are now seeing more people recovering than are being infected. He and the Governor both stated these numbers are due to West Virginian’s following social distancing guidelines. Dr. Marsh also suggested people continue to wear masks or cloth coverings at they do out under the “Safer at Home” order. He closed by telling people to keep washing their hands.
DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch announced 97-percent of nursing homes in West Virginia have been tested. There are four remaining to be tested. Three of those are being done on Thursday, and the last will be tested on Friday. The Bureau of Children and Families is issuing a $100 supplemental payment for LIEAP participants and heating source vendors.
There are 680 child care centers operational now to help with essential personnel. Guidelines from the WVDHHR have been sent to day care centers. Employees and parents are advised to contact the directors of those centers for how to proceed.
Regarding guidelines for churches, the Governor said the numbers regarding groups of 25 people was not meant to be directed at worship centers. According to both orders, churches are essential and can remain open. They are encouraged to practice proper social distancing. The 25 person limitation is directed for public gatherings other than churches and remains in affect under the new order.