Gov. Justice removes three counties from remaining list of COVID-19 hotspots

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – Gov. Jim Justice announced on Sunday that he has issued an Executive Order removing Jackson, Kanawha, and Ohio counties from the list of COVID-19 community clusters or “hotspots” in West Virginia.

Click here to view the Executive Order on the Governor’s website(Please note that the final, signed copy will be posted on the Governor’s website Monday morning after it is filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.)

Four counties requested to remain on the hotspot list including Berkeley, Harrison, Jefferson, and Monongalia counties.

West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh and State Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp are continuing to work with the local health departments in Cabell, Marion, Wayne, and Wood counties to determine whether or not to remove them from the hotspot list. However, none of these counties have been removed at this time.

The Order supports broad authority to the local health departments in the eight remaining hotspot counties and also: 

  • Limits groups to a maximum of 5 people.
  • Directs ALL businesses to require employees to work from home to the maximum extent possible.
  • Directs the West Virginia National Guard to provide logistical support and services to assist county agencies.
  • Directs West Virginia State Police to assist with enforcement of local county orders.

Later this week, a new methodology will be released that will give the state additional flexibility to develop and implement more precise response plans that meet the needs of each county specifically, if a new hotspot were to develop.

All 55 West Virginia counties are still subject to all statewide restrictions, including the Governor’s new Safer At Home order, which goes into effect tomorrow, Monday, May 4, at 12:01 a.m.

Gov. Justice has directed his medical experts to continue to work closely with local health departments throughout West Virginia to ensure each county has the tools they need to continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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