By March 26, 2020 Read More →

Coronavirus Roundup: Five things all West Virginians should know and follow

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Press Association each day will be highlighting five newspaper articles on the coronavirus crisis across West Virginia.

Today, to start the feature, WV Press looks at five things West Virginians should know and follow during this crisis.

West Virginia Press will highlight five newspaper articles each day during the Coronavirus crisis.

1 – U.S. SENATE PASSES CORONAVIRUS AID RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT — The U.S. Senate passed the third coronavirus relief package, which could provide money for families and businesses.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It passed unanimously in the Senate.

The Act now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives and could be amended. Read the Senate bill text here: https://wvpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Senate-Bill-Text.pdf.

Individual family highlights of the Senate version includes: financial relief to middle-class families, with payments of $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000 per year or $2,400 per couple earning up to $150,000 per year plus $500 per child; additional 13 weeks of unemployment for workers laid off due to the current economic crisis, and an additional $600 unemployment benefit for four months; $8.8 billion for child nutrition programs, nearly $16 billion for SNAP, and $450 million for food banks; pauses payments on federally owned student loans for 6 months without interest or penalties.

Senators Manchin and Capito outline the other goals:

Read Sen. Manchin’s statement: https://wvpress.org/breaking-news/coronavirus-update-u-s-sen-manchin-issues-statement-on-third-coronavirus-relief-package/.

Read Sen. Capito’s statement: https://wvpress.org/breaking-news/coronavirus-update-u-s-senator-capito-issues-statement-on-third-coronavirus-relief-package/.

2 – CONTINUE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAY CLOSER TO HOME —  Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday urged all West Virginians to “stay the course” on practicing social distancing and good hygiene and praised the population for helping to limit exposure to the disease.

“Gov. Justice said, “… We’ve got to remember just this: We are the highest risk state of all. Don’t go in a crowd. Wash your hands. Stay at home as much as you can.”

Gov. Justice has issued a “Stay At Home” order, directing all West Virginia residents to stay at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs.

Gov. Justice also announced the ongoing closure of all schools statewide for at least three-and-a-half more weeks. The Governor and education leaders are now hoping to resume in-class instruction on Monday, April 20, 2020.

“We need to give our families proper time to be able to make arrangements. … April 20th is a Monday, a week after Easter, and it would take spring break into consideration. I’m very hopeful that on April 20 we can go back to school, but we’ll have to see, just like everything we’ve done,” Justice said.

See more at https://governor.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

3. ARE YOU REALLY EDUCATED ON THE CORONAVIRUS — The coronavirus continues to spread in the United States. What do you know about coronavirus, how it threatens you and where to get accurate updates?

WV Press offers the following video information:

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives an explanation on COVID-19.
Jay Butler, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes preventative measures to help protect older adults from COVID-19.

Notes on Pets from the CDC: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

Use this link to get the latest numbers and state updates for the coronavirus: https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx.

Use these links to watch the West Virginia daily press updates from Gov. Justice:
YouTube: https://youtu.be/GB-zExOQ0nk
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/WVGovernor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wvgovernor

4 – WATCH OUT FOR YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS — Until the Coronavirus, the biggest threat to West Virginians was opioid addiction and substance abuse.

Unfortunately, as WVU’s expert in addiction studies notes, those problems didn’t go away. In fact, the effects of social distancing and self-quarantine are even harder on those with substance use issues or in the recovery process.

“Isolation tends to be a feature of addiction,” said Frankie Tack, clinical assistant professor and addiction studies minor coordinator at WVU. “The isolating environment created by social distancing can create triggers for individuals who remember days at home alone when they used drugs.”

Tack urges individuals who want to start their recovery journeys not to allow the pandemic to prevent them from seeking help. “Don’t let this virus keep you from seeking recovery. If now is your moment, seize it and don’t wait.”

If you live in West Virginia and need help with a substance use disorder or a mental health issue, you can contact HELP4WV for 24/7 assistance through call, chat or text.

5DO THE 2020 CENSUS — Government officials are urging all West Virginians to do the 2020 Census during the Stay-At-Home period. Officials said completing the Census will help West Virginia for the next decade: https://my2020census.gov/

“Counting everyone helps communities receive funding needed for health care, education, emergency services, and more. Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions in our communities. Your response to the 2020 Census can help shape your future and the future of your community,” officials said.

You can respond online in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more: https://my2020census.gov/.

With questions or ideas for Five Things, contact Don Smith at donsmith@wvpress.org or visit WV Press at wvpress.org.

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