CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s economic reopening began with the resumption of elective surgeries at hospitals. A week later it expanded to allowing hair cuts, and the opening of outdoor restaurants, in addition to carry-out meals.
“People being able to get out, being able to socialize, while being able to maintain their distance. I think it will do wonders for the community’s morale,” said Dave Haden, manager of Mi Cocina de Amor and Gonzoburger on April 26.
Places of worship then received guidelines for reopening their sanctuaries, and mandatory testing of child care workers began with the goal of opening those businesses.
But there have been some setbacks – the number of deaths in the state’s nursing homes prompted the governor to require mandatory testing of all patients – and staff. And the state has seen a higher percentage of cases in its African American community – prompting more free testing.
Thru it all the advice has been to keep social distancing, wear face masks and wash hands often, to prevent a second wave of COVID-19
“As we go forward we’re not going to run and cannonball in the middle of the pool and then awaken to the fact the pool didn’t have any water in it and we have a real, real, real problem,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia on April 26.
The next phase for reopening is Thursday, May 21, when the Hatfield-McCoy Trails can be used. State park campgrounds can be used by West Virginians, and restaurants can resume indoor seating but only at 50% of their capacity.
“In gradually reopening the state, Justice says his goal is to kick-start the West Virginia economy, but the top priority is to do it while keeping people healthy. We’ll have more at 7 p.m., tonight in our special, ‘Opening West Virginia,'” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.