CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice held another virtual news briefing on Monday afternoon and announced a “stay at home” order shutting down non-essential businesses as of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Justice did not say how long the order would be in place.
Justice said: that residents can leave their homes to get food, medicine or medical care. He also said residents can check on family members and can go outside for recreation. Full details on the order are below:
Essential businesses are listed as:
- Healthcare, public health operations and health insurance companies
- Grocery stores and pharmacies
- Food, beverage and agriculture
- Essential government functions
- Human services organizations and childcare facilities and providers
- Essential infrastructure
- Coal mining and coal fired electric generation facilities
- Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
- Transportation and travel related business and gas stations
- Financial and insurance institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services
- Religious entities
- Educational institutions
- Laundry services
- Supplies to work from home
- Supplies for essential businesses and operations
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services
- Media and first amendment protected speech
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
Prohibited activities are listed as:
- Amusement rides
- Pool halls
- Bingo halls
- Malls(unless stores have an outdoor entrance and provide essential services and products)
- Children’s play centers
- Bowling alleys
- Movie and other theaters
- Concert and music halls
- Adult entertainment venues
- Social clubs
You can see the full executive order from the Governor at this link.
The governor’s office also provided answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the order.
As of Monday afternoon, West Virginia was one of 15 U.S. states with stay at home orders. You can see the full list of states with orders here.
Justice began his briefing by mentioning the 16 confirmed cases in the state, including a women at a nursing home. The governor said it was the state’s first case of community transmission. National Guard members were sent to the nursing home to test everyone who needed to be tested, Justice said.
Justice said that 49 hospitals in the state are doing tests, 19 communities are set up to do community-based testing and at least 1,500 tested people have been tested.
Justice has asked state health officials to do daily inventories on available hospital beds.
Justice ordered that cabins and restrooms at state parks will be closed Monday, but that trails and other outdoor recreation areas will remain open.
Wednesday, March 25 will be an official state day of prayer, Justice said.
In relation to his publicly-maligned Saturday evening statewide address, Justice said he was urged by state health officials to give the address to urge residents to take the situation more seriously.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement after Governor Justice declared the stay-at-home order for West Virginia.
“This afternoon Governor Justice made the decision to place West Virginia under a stay-at-home order beginning at 8pm on Tuesday, March 24th. I urge every West Virginian to abide by this order. We must come together to do the difficult things required to slow the spread of COVID-19. This outbreak is serious and the only option is to fight it together. West Virginians have always taken care of one another and right now that means staying at home unless absolutely necessary,” said Senator Manchin.
A bipartisan group of state legislative leaders also issued a statement offering guidance and encouraging unity. You can read the full statement from Senate President Mitch Carmichael, Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso and House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley here.