WV Gov. Jim Justice announces additional positives in prison system, unemployment issue resolution, discount at state parks


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has scheduled his virtual COVID-19 news briefing for 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, his office announced.

Following up on Tuesday’s announcement that an inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center, in Randolph County, had tested positive for COVID-19, officials said that another inmate and two staff members have tested positive. More than 200 employees and 44 inmates, who are in the affected area, were tested Wednesday morning and more employees will be tested Thursday, officials said.

State officials also tried to dispel confusion surrounding a state order limiting gatherings to 25 people or less. That guideline does not apply to essential businesses or other businesses, like restaurants, that have their own specific guidelines, but applies to things like picnics, officials explained.

WorkForce WV officials announced that it has distributed more than $600 million in unemployment assistance since March 14. Officials also said that they found a system issue, which been resolved and said that people who have not received payments, will get them by Friday.

Gov. Justice also reminded residents about testing for minority populations that is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion and Monongalia counties.

Justice said that he hopes that things won’t get to the point that he has to order residents to wear masks and that he strongly encourages people to wear them in public places.

The governor announced that from June 1 to August 31 all West Virginians will get a 30% discount on stays at West Virginia State Park lodges, cabins and campgrounds. Senior citizens and veterans will receive an additional 10% discount. All West Virginians with existing reservations during this time will be proactively issued the discount as a credit on their reservation within two weeks. Credits will be automatically applied, so guests with existing reservations do not need to call, officials said.

Gov. Justice said that he hoped to soon have more information on how fairs and festivals may be able to be held. Justice said that things like pools, bowling and movie theaters will also be looked at.

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