CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — At his latest COVID-19 briefing, the governor said the earliest hospitals will be able to restart elective medical procedures is Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

With elective surgeries shut down for a month, it has taken a severe financial toll on many hospitals and their employees and patients’ health.

“We’ve got to re-start from the elective surgeries, and from the general care that maybe you’ve been laying to the side, that you need to do. Because if you don’t do some of those things, we could very well lose you, too,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

State health officials say any hospital that is approved for elective surgery, will have to make sure critical care employees and the patients have been tested. And the hospitals must have enough protective medical gear on hand, to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

“And that’s going to be a very important addition to safely opening up hospitals for surgeries, so that we can support the testing of people coming in, and support the people who work in high-risk areas,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID 19 Czar

Last week the Governor ordered all 28,000 nursing home residents and employees in the state to be tested or re-tested by Friday, after numerous deaths at those facilities. Today he says will happen, and that all 140,000 unemployment claims would be processed by Wednesday night.

“With now no end in sight, people are pretty much being to keep staying home; make only essential trips out such as going to a grocery story; and when doing that stay at least 6-feet away from other people,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.