WV Gov. Justice says state cuts won’t be necessary during COVID-19 update


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice held his daily, virtual news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The governor started by reassuring people that if they haven’t received an unemployment check, it will be coming soon and that checks will be retroactive, he said. WV National Guard officials also detailed technological improvements being made to WorkForce WV workflows.

When asked if it would be necessary to furlough state workers due to the economic effects of the pandemic, Gov. Justice said he did not believe any cuts would have to happen, because he feels that state shortfalls will be back-filled by the federal government.

While lamenting the state’s nine COVID-19 deaths, Gov. Justice touted the low number compared to surrounding states. Justice said that he was very concerned about the Wayne County Nursing Home where 36 residents and 30 employees have tested positive for coronavirus. Three quarters of the state’s outbreaks have happened in long-term care facilities, WV DHHR officials said. The DHHR is offering preventive services to nursing homes, officials said.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer announced that the state has procured two million medical gloves that will come to the state incrementally and that a company in Spencer has started making reusable surgical gowns, which were two concerns the governor raised on Monday.

Justice said that the state has the capability to provide one million meals a week for West Virginia students. Weekly food packages, made up of five breakfasts, five lunches and snacks are being distributed, WV Department of Education officials said.

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