CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s office began his daily virtual news briefing, on Wednesday afternoon, by highlighting the fact that there have been no COVID-19 related deaths in the state since Saturday. The death toll remains at 50.
Gov. Justice announced that he is issuing an executive order that all residents and staff at assisted living facilities in the state, along with daycare staff, be tested for COVID-19, as was done at nursing homes. Testing is already under way for staff at daycare facilities that are already open, officials said.
Targeted testing will also be done in the state’s African American communities, Justice said. A COVID-19 advisory task force for this purpose is being created, WV DHHR officials said. Berkeley, Jefferson, Marion, Monongalia and Raleigh counties will be the focus, officials said. Efforts will include mobile and drive-through testing, they said.
WorkForce WV has gotten 170,000 unemployment claims and 15% of those claims require special handling, Justice said.
We are “still a few weeks out” from calling state government workers back to their offices, Gov. Justice said. The governor is open to having some workers continue to work from home, he said.
Gov. Justice said that guidelines for being able to reopen the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail system and associated businesses, in southern West Virginia, are being developed.
Justice signed a proclamation honoring the state’s nurses on National Nurses Day. It is also National Interpreters Day and the governor mentioned the two women who have been translating his daily briefings into sign language.