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Coronavirus Update: Governor to implement “Safer at Home” standard for reopening of West Virginia economy

From a release by the Office of the Governor:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In light of West Virginia’s success at keeping the cumulative rate of positive COVID-19 tests under 3 percent and in concert with his recently-announced plan to reopen the economy , Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday that he will soon lift the “Stay At Home” order imposed statewide last month, replacing it with a “Safer At Home” order.

The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 4.

“‘Safer At Home’ still strongly encourages all West Virginians to stay at home when not performing essential tasks, but no longer mandates them to stay at home,” Gov. Justice said. “Our people have been knocking it out of the park, but we need to keep it that way. You should still stay home if you have any symptoms or have come in contact with someone who has the virus.”

Click here to read the full order

MORE INFO:“Safer At Home” order|“West Virginia Strong – The Comeback”

During his daily media briefing Thursday, the Governor highlighted that the state’s percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has steadily dropped in recent days. The cumulative rate of positive tests has also decreased to 2.51 percent – far below all bordering states and the national average of over 17 percent. …

Gov. Justice also issued a reminder that Thursday marked the beginning of “Week 1” in his multi-phased plan to reopen businesses across West Virginia. In this phase, hospitals offering elective procedures, outpatient health care operations, and daycares are permitted to resume services, provided that they follow all necessary safety guidelines issued by the State.

The Governor also announced the Department of Health and Human Resources issued guidance on the testing of staff at daycare centers statewide.

The “Week 2” phase of reopenings are scheduled to begin this coming Monday, May 4. This includes small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, restaurants with takeaway service or outdoor dining options, religious entities and funeral homes, and professional service businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and pet grooming.

Click here to view additional safety guidelines and to read more about “The Comeback” plan

Several additional types of businesses will be permitted to reopen from Weeks 3-6. The opening schedule for these businesses will be based upon the recommendations of state medical experts and upon testing data available at that time.

Additionally the Governor announced that the United Ways of West Virginia are holding a Country Roads Food Drive on Tuesday, May 5, to feed families in West Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I encourage you, if you would, to try to help, to try to call in to these people, and to try to do anything and everything you possibly can,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s great stuff when you see, over and over, West Virginians stepping up and doing all the good stuff that they do everyday. We’re trying, every way in the world, to feed our kids and our elderly and those that are maybe having a really tough time right now. West Virginians know that we absolutely, surely to goodness, have to take care of people that are really having a rough go.”

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