W.Va. Gov. Justice says some businesses can reopen by Thursday

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 6:08 PM EDT
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West Virginia is on its way back to reopening for business, Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday evening during his daily COVID-19 briefing.

The governor said Week 1 businesses of the state’s strategic reopening plan can resume operations Thursday, April 30.

Those businesses include hospitals restarting elective medical procedures, along with outpatient health care services such as primary care, dentistry, physical and occupational therapy, as well as mental health services.

Week 2 businesses may begin opening Monday, May 4, the governor said, and Weeks 3-6 will begin opening on subsequent Mondays.

To see a designation of what businesses are included for each week:

“We do have good news,” Justice said as he began his briefing, referring to the base rate of COVID-19 cases dropping to 2.59 percent by Wednesday. Part of the state’s decision to reopen businesses was having the base rate below 3 percent for three consecutive days.

On a somber note, the governor said the state saw its 40th COVID-19-related death by Wednesday. The latest deaths were a 50-year-old woman from Jefferson County, an 80-year-old man from Kanawha County and a 95-year-old woman from Wayne County.

He said the average age of all the victims has been 78.

Justice advised residents to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from the virus.

“I would be a proponent of you wearing a mask all the time when in public,” he said.

On March 23, Justice put into place a stay-at-home order. On Wednesday. he said those parameters could be changing as soon as Thursday, April 29.

"I think tomorrow (Thursday) you will see us move with an executive order that will move us away from stay at home to a safer at home situation, and the other thing is we're going to continue to just watch the numbers. I mean, that's what we gotta do. We just gotta watch the numbers, know where the hot spots are, and absolutely just stay on top of it, and that's what we'll do."

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.