Coronavirus Update: Non-essential W.Va. state employees will work from home; private sector encouraged to allow same practice

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday ordered non-essential state employees to work from home.

Justice ordered cabinet secretaries in his administration to determine non-essential employee positions and allow those employees to begin working from home. The Governor has tasked his cabinet secretaries with determining which positions will be considered “essential” in their respective departments.

While the West Virginia Capitol Complex remains open for official business, tours and other non-business visits are halted until further notice. Citizens are encouraged to access government services by phone or online at wv.gov.

Gov. Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston Wednesday for a press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Gov. Jim Justice gives a press briefing. Courtesy photo

The Governor is also asking all private businesses across West Virginia to look for ways to allow as many employees as possible to work from home while still keeping our essential businesses operating.

“We as West Virginians have got to step up in every way and I urge you beyond belief to have confidence that we’ve got this,” Gov. Justice said.

During his remarks, the Governor announced that he has issued an Executive Order, mandating the statewide closure of all fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, and similar businesses or places where the public tends to congregate for recreation, sport, or other similar leisure activities.

“In the last 24 hours there have been a lot of things that have changed. We’ve asked that for two weeks we close all the restaurants, bars, and casinos,” Gov. Justice said. “Today we’re going to ask for two weeks that all the gyms, health clubs, and recreation facilities close.”

Gov. Justice also reported on discussion with President Donald J. Trump at the White House. Justice said President Trump pledged his support to the state of West Virginia, including agreeing to quickly provide swabs and other testing supplies.

Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented Monday by President Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

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.

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