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Coronavirus Update: W.Va. health officer says re-opening is not ‘simply going back to normal’

By Erin Beck, Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As businesses re-open, including centers that offer physical therapy, during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp urged West Virginians to proceed with caution.

She said the state could see a rise in the number of infections “if we do this too quickly or not in a disciplined and cautious approach.” …

During a virtual COVID-19 briefing Monday, Slemp, who is also the commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health, said that re-opening is not “simply going back to normal.” 

She also urged businesses to allow employees to work remotely when possible and encourage delivery options.

Slemp noted that guidance is still in place requiring no more than two people per 1,000 square feet in retail establishments and three per 1,000 square feet in grocery stores.

She asked older people and people with chronic disease to continue to stay home. “If you have family members that are at risk and you realize you’re going back to work, recognize that you could bring the virus back to those family members,” she said. …

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