CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says he has declared a stay-home order to go into effect at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This will include the closure of non-essential businesses by that time. He also declared Wednesday, March 25 a day of state prayer.
Justice says people will be able to leave their homes to receive essential services such as going to a grocery store or pharmacy, go to work at essential businesses, or go outdoors as long as they remain as a six-foot distance. The order Further details will be available on the governor’s website.
Essential businesses listed in Justice’s order include:
- Healthcare, public health operations and health insurance companies
- Grocery stores and pharmacies
- Food, beverage and agriculture operations
According to the order, this includes operations involved in food and beverage manufacturing; farming and livestock; businesses that provide necessities of life for animals (including animal shelters); restaurants that offer take-away, delivery or drive through; and schools and other entities that typically provide food for students or members of the public on a pick-up or take-away basis.
- Essential government function
According to the order, this includes first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, jurors and grand jurors, law enforcement and corrections personnel, hazardous materials responders, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military and other governmental employees working for to support essential businesses and operations.
The order also includes all state government employees deemed essential employees by their respective agency heads.
- Human services organizations and childcare facilities and providers
- Essential infrastructure
According to the order, this includes hospital construction, construction of long-term care facilities, public works construction, school construction, essential business construction and housing construction, business management and maintenance, airport operations and supply of utilities.
- Coal mining and coal-fired electric generation facilities
- Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
- Transportation and travel-related businesses and gas stations
- Financial and insurance institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
According to the order, this includes building and construction, plumbers, electricians, exterminator, filtration technicians, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, heating, ventilation and air conditioning engineers, painting, moving and relocation services and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities and essential businesses and operations.
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services.
- Religious entities, providing gatherings practice proper social distancing recommendations.
- Educational institutions for purposes of distance learning, performing critical research or providing food for school-aged children, providing organizations practice proper social distancing is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
- Laundry services
- Supplies to work from home
- Supplies for essential businesses and operations
- Homes-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services including legal services, accounting services, insurance services and real estate services (including appraisal and title services).
- Media and first amendment protected speech
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
The governor is also ordering that cabins and restrooms at state parks be closed as of today. The governor says trails, golf courses and the parks themselves will still remain open for people to be able to go outdoors.
Justice also announced one of the 16 cases confirmed in the state is a nursing home resident. 444 tests in the Mountain State have back negative and four still pending. Counties with confirmed cases include:
- Jackson – 1
- Jefferson – 3
- Kanawha – 3
- Marshall – 2
- Mercer – 2
- Monongalia – 2
- Putnam – 1
- Tucker – 2
Earlier this month, Justice and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced an information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding the coronavirus. Anyone with questions can call 24/7, toll-free, at 1-800-887-4304.