CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Justice is unveiling more details to begin reopening the state. He says during the entire process for reopening, the state must proceed with caution as West Virginia has the most vulnerable population to contract the virus.
He says once the state reopens, things will have to run differently until a vaccine for the virus has been approved. He also says he hopes medicine to treat the virus’s symptoms can be used to lessen the severity of the disease until that time.
Justice says the first step to reopening is getting hospitals running again with elective procedures, and plans are still in place to begin this process next week. Because hospital workers will need childcare as they return to work, he says the next step will include opening daycares including mandatory testing for daycare staff as an additional safety precaution.
The governor says his biggest concern for the plan to reopen is making sure there is enough PPE for workers. He says like most places across the country, the state is still short on PPE, and he wants to make sure workers have the proper equipment to keep them safe to advance the plan to reopen.
Justice also says another step the state is beginning to look into the possibility of allowing restaurants to begin outdoor dining. Justice says this step for opening restaurants is at least 7-14 days away, providing current trends continue to move in a direction showing it will be safe to do so, and there will be protocols in place to keep both workers and customers safe such as limiting customer capacity, additional cleaning, and possible employee temperature checks.
Justice has removed Morgan County from the executive order regarding “hot spot” counties, as the county’s numbers of new cases have not spiked in recent days. Justice says Morgan County originally chose to be included given its proximity to counties with larger numbers of cases who had already been included in the list. Morgan County is the first county to be removed from the list.