4/29 Morning Briefing

Cases of COVID 19 in West Virginia

Updated: 4/29/2020

18 New Reported Cases

504  Reported Cases Recovered ( +23 )

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is the official reporting agency for COVID-19, which in turn provides official case numbers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical providers and laboratories are required to report positive test results to DHHR. The data in the daily reports include all known positive cases but underreports the total number of individuals tested as not all laboratories are able to electronically submit negative test results.

Click here to view the list of current testing sites.

Gov. Justice continues to encourage all West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented by President Donald J. Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.


The Raleigh County Health Department will be offering drive-thru testing on Wednesday, April 29th from 9-11 AM You must contact the health department prior for pre-screening – 304 252-8531

U.S. Cellular announced that it has extended and expanded its support for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. From now through July 31, 2020, U.S. Cellular customers on any plan will continue to have the data they need and not be charged any overages.

The state’s Division of Motor Vehicles customers may visit any of its 57 license service agencies currently open for work on titles, temporary license plates, and registrations. Drivers can also have it done through the mail. The department is also putting a list of available license services on its website.

The Shade tree car club and Beckley City Events have planned a cruise to take place Saturday, May 2nd at 4:00 pm. Everyone needs to meet at the Nazarene Church on Johntowns Rd. The cruise will leave at 4:45 promptly we will follow the signs and balloons throughout the Bowling Addition neighborhood. We will wave and honk our horns for the neighborhood and spread cheer and raise people’s spirits throughout Beckley during this hard time. Hopefully, people will watch from their windows and porches and cheer us on as well. If this is a success we will continue to do this in different neighborhoods throughout Beckley weekly to spread good cheer.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Everyone is to line up at 4 pm.
  2. EVERYONE MUST STAY IN THEIR CARS! No exceptions. If you do not stay in your car you will be asked to leave.
  3. We must follow all traffic laws and lights. If you get split up from the group just follow the signs and balloons.
  4. Have fun and spread cheer.

In order for this test run to work, we must follow these rules. We must practice social distancing by staying in our cars.

If you have any questions please feel free to message on the Shadetree Facebook page or the Beckley City Events page. 

Raleigh County Schools will be distributing weekly meal packs to students’ families today 4/29 from 1-3.  

The 18th annual New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayette County has gone virtual you can see presentations daily through Saturday on their Facebook Page

Gov. Jim Justice will conduct a live, statewide address this evening at approx. 5:30 p.m.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice provides additional guidelines for reopening certain small businesses, restaurants, and religious entities

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CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice provided additional guidelines for certain businesses that may be permitted to reopen as early as next week as part of “West Virginia Strong – The Comeback” – the Governor’s plan to reopen businesses in certain sectors in phases.The guidelines provided today are for small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, restaurants with takeaway service or outdoor dining options available, as well as religious entities and funeral homes – all of which are among the types of businesses permitted to resume operations in the “Week 2” phase of the Governor’s plan, which would begin Monday, May 4, if the statewide cumulative percent of positive test results (available at Coronavirus.wv.gov) remains below 3 percent through the evening of Wednesday, April 29.

These guidance documents are being provided in advance of the earliest possible reopening date – Monday, May 4 – to give businesses a chance to prepare to resume operations in accordance with the new guidelines. If the statewide cumulative percent of positive test results were to increase above the 3 percent threshold, the reopening scheduled may be delayed. The Governor’s Office will provide updates in the days ahead.

Guidelines available for download here:

Professional service businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and pet grooming are also permitted to reopen in the “Week 2” phase of the plan. Additional guidelines for the reopening of these types of businesses will be provided by the board or commission that regulates each professional service.

Gov. Justice also provided further clarification about his plan to reopen the state.The Governor explained that the entire six-week reopening process will go into action if, during the ongoing three-day observation period, statewide cumulative percent of positive test results remain below 3 percent.

“We tracked a day on Monday, we’re tracking a day today, and we’re tracking a day tomorrow,” Gov. Justice said. “If we stay under 3 percent, then on Wednesday evening at 5 o’clock, we’ll have our three days and Week 1 will commence immediately.”

The Governor also clarified that each subsequent phase of the reopening process – Weeks 2-6 – will begin on each week’s respective Monday.

TENTATIVE dates for reopening:

  • Week 1 – Thursday, April 30
  • Week 2 – Monday, May 4
  • Weeks 3-6 will begin on subsequent Mondays
    • Businesses opening Weeks 3-6 will be announced the week before

Click here to read more about the plan, including which businesses are scheduled to open each week

Additionally, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia University School of Public Health are teaming up to offer an online course, training public health investigators how to perform contact tracing for COVID-19.Contact tracing is a method used to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Health investigators work with COVID-positive patients to try to help them remember everyone they were in contact with while they may have been infectious. People who might have been exposed can then be warned.

The DHHR and WVU are recruiting members of the West Virginia National Guard and anyone assisting DHHR or local health departments in their response to COVID-19 to take part in the course, which begins this week. Senior undergraduate and graduate-level students in public health, health professional programs, and related fields may also participate.

“I am proud to see this partnership and commend WVU for getting this done,” Gov. Justice said. “This is more great work being done by West Virginians and it’s more great work by West Virginia University.”

Click here to read more

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has secured access to one of only 25 high-capacity decontamination systems for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the U.S., by working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of Virginia.In early April, FEMA announced that the Battelle Memorial Institute would offer 25 Critical Care Decontamination Systems (CCDS) nationally to decontaminate personal protective equipment for health care and other frontline COVID-19 responders. A CCDS can decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 masks per day when operating at full capacity.

“This is one of 25 units in the entire country and very, very soon it’s going to come and be here,” Gov. Justice said. “I commend our Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and all of our Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety for all that they’ve done to make this a reality.”

Click here to read more

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice signed an executive order suspending several regulatory statute provisions to provide more flexibility to dentists and speech-language pathologists across West Virginia as the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues.Click here to view the executive order
Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 46 days ago, the WVNG has completed 698 missions through six lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, innovation, state surge capacity and capability, and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 704 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.Today, members of Task Force CRE are providing additional PPE training to the Harrison County Health Department while also supporting area healthcare facilities and retail establishments with PPE training. Members are also providing assistance for COVID-19 drive through testing lanes at three locations. To date, this team has trained 665 businesses, 3,318 personnel and 74 medical or long-term care facilities.

In addition to training, TF CRE and TF Medical will be conducting a COVID-19 testing mission tomorrow at the Weirton Geriatric Center. So far, they have conducted 220 COVID-19 tests for lane support and 2,277 tests as a part of their response mission.

Click here to read more