CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice held another one of his now daily briefings. With health and public safety officials by his side, he declared the state of emergency. But the Governor stopped short of many of his fellow governors, and for now, is not ordering that bars and restaurants close.
“As far as our restaurants and our bars, that may be a situation we address soon. As far as shutting down the Capitol or shutting down our cities, or whatever it may be, it may be a situation we have to address soon,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The State of Emergency allows the state to side-step normal purchasing and hiring rules to get help as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Congress worked into Saturday, to pass and $8 billion Covid-19 aid package, which members hope will lead to more temporary testing centers.
“There are more labs that are going to be reading the tests. It looks like there are going to be little places like around Wal-Marts or Targets, where you’re going to be able to drive through and be tested,” said Rep. Carol. Miller, (R) West Virginia.
Right now there is no time table for when those testing stations may be set up. Meanwhile, Congress allocated another $1 billion in food assistance for children, people on SNAP benefits, and seniors.
“The same for the elderly. A lot of them depend on some type of senior center or meals on wheels to get nutrition,” said Rep. Carol Miller, (R) West Virginia.
“Government elders and health officials say it’s important for people to check for updates often. The Coronavirus situation seems to change by the hour, with the information ever-evolving,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.
The Governor’s top advice is to take care of our elderly neighbors and family members first.
“They need to take care of their parents, their grandparents and their great-grandparents. They need to shop for them. Keep them out of crowds,” said Bill Crouch, DHHR Secretary.
The Governor made his emergency declaration following a conference call with President Trump and Vice President Pence.