Gov. Justice sends National Guard to WV’s Eastern Panhandle after increase in positive COVID-19 tests, encourages all West Virginians to wear masks


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During his Thursday, COVID-19 briefing West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that he was sending the National Guard to Berkeley and Jefferson counties, in the state’s Eastern Panhandle, after seeing an increase in positive cases there this week. Additional steps may be taken, including making masks mandatory, after the National Guard reports back to him, Justice said. Justice again strongly encouraged all West Virginia residents to wear masks in public.

Also during his briefing, Justice announced that on May 30, pools, bowling alleys, rolling rinks, pool halls and other indoor amusement businesses can reopen. Movie theaters will be allowed to reopen on June 5, the governor said.

The governor said that the state Department of Education is reaching out to county superintendents to work with them to be able to hold high school graduations.

“Let’s find a way for our graduates to be able to walk up on the stage and accept their diploma some way, even if it’s not traditional,” Gov. Justice said. “I absolutely want to be able to do that so badly.”

WV DHHR officials urged parents to continue their children’s normal vaccine schedules. “If children fall behind on vaccinations during the pandemic, we could face a second crisis with an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease,” added Dr. Slemp. “I urge parents and guardians to contact their child’s medical provider to stay on schedule with recommended vaccinations.” The state’s Vaccines for Children program provides free vaccines for many children.

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