News

Your Coronavirus Questions, Answered

Apr 3, 2020
Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

The coronavirus pandemic has already infected thousands in the Ohio Valley and upended life and work for nearly all of us. In such a fast-moving pandemic, it can be hard to keep all the information straight. The Ohio Valley ReSource and its partner stations asked you what you wanted to know, and took your questions to someone with answers.

We're looking to you, our audience, to help choose some of our upcoming broadcasts.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia's attorney general on Thursday said a ban on elective medical procedures during the coronavirus pandemic will reduce abortions but will be upheld in an eventual legal challenge.

The executive order, which went into effect this week, mirrors directives in other Republican-controlled states that been temporarily blocked by federal judges. West Virginia's order, which doesn't explicitly include abortion, says that it applies to all procedures that aren't “immediately medically necessary to preserve the patient's life or long-term health” to preserve medical supplies and protective equipment.

The long-awaited results of an investigation into Frontier Communications, the state’s primary landline provider, finds the company isn’t doing enough preventative maintenance work on its copper cable network for landline phones in West Virginia. 

University of Washington / Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

West Virginia has about a month until coronavirus peaks here. 

And when it does, about 500 West Virginians — give or take a few hundred — are expected to die, according to current projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Shepherd University


 

At least two universities in the Mountain State are using 3D printing technology to make much-needed personal protective gear for first responders and healthcare professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection this week released a long-awaited plan to update the state’s water quality standards.

Photo Provided / Marshall University School of Pharmacy

Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, we are asking our audience and viewers to reach out to us and share stories of hope, inspiration and resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Huntington, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy has been making FDA approved hand sanitizer to help nonprofits who are quickly running out.  We spoke with Dr. Kim Broedel-Zaugg, who is the chair of pharmacy practice, administration, and research.


Our West Virginia COVID-19 Tracker Gives You County-Level Data On The Coronavirus

Apr 2, 2020
Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

Since the first Ohio Valley region COVID-19 patient was confirmed nearly a month ago, cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus have continued to increase in the state.

Along with that increase in cases comes an increase in questions:

How many cases are there around me?

How many people in my community have died?

How do other health issues increase the risk of serious illness due to coronavirus in my community?

These questions are hard to answer right now due to the speed at which data are being reported.

That’s why we, in collaboration with three other public media stations across the U.S., developed the Local COVID-19 Tracker Project. The Local COVID-19 Tracker Project brings you county-level coronavirus data that are both timely and easy to understand.

Ohio Valley Unemployment Claims Soar To Nearly 400,000 Amid Pandemic Shutdown

Apr 2, 2020
Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Claims for unemployment insurance soared around the Ohio Valley region as nearly 400,000 people in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia sought help amid the economic freeze associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

The new numbers come from data released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor showing more than 6.6 million unemployment claims around the country.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, what can hillbilly squids teach us about Appalachia? We find out, and we bring you an update on the coronavirus situation in West Virginia.  

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Songwriter Joe Pug has made six appearances on Mountain Stage since 2008. His ability to paint a scene is among his greatest gifts, as you can hear in our song of the week, "After Curfew."

One of the most prolific and decorated songwriters of his generation dies at 52 after contracting COVID-19

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

A local health center has plans to buy the Williamson Memorial Hospital in Mingo County after the hospital announced Monday plans to close at some point in April.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

State officials are reporting a second coronavirus-related death in West Virginia. 

The Department of Health and Human Resources released a press release Wednesday evening from the Jackson County Health Department confirming the state’s second fatality. 

looney ridge surface coal mine
Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice have agreed to pay more than $5 million in overdue mine health and safety fines and fees.

WV Governor's Office

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Tuesday acknowledged that his directive to have police monitor roads and check in on travelers from coronavirus  hotspots might be unconstitutional but he said it will continue for safety reasons.

Glynis Board

With cases of the coronavirus expected to spike in West Virginia in the coming weeks, the state will delay its primary election. Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement at a Wednesday virtual news conference.

The primary election had been scheduled for May 12. But with public health concerns heightened, Justice announced the primary will instead be pushed back to June 9. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

On a blistering August afternoon in Cumberland, Kentucky, David Pratt, Jr. stood in the middle of a two-lane highway, holding a sign that read “COAL MINERS AND TRUCKERS AGAINST CORPORATE AMERICA.” A few yards away, his father, David Pratt Sr., who is graying but still muscular, leaned back in a lawn chair perched precariously on the crossties of a railroad. His eyes focused on the spot where the tracks disappeared around the bend and more than $1 million worth of coal idled in train cars.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from artisans from across Appalachia coping with the coronavirus. And it’s been about nine months since coal company Blackjewel suddenly declared bankruptcy. We check in on a father and son who are moving forward.

 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families announced in a news release Tuesday that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, may be eligible for two waivers from the federal government.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday additional executive orders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The governor and other state officials continue to urge residents to stay at home as the projected onslaught of the virus remains weeks away.

New River Gorge Bridge
Chad Matlick / WVPB

Three national parks in West Virginia closed their facilities at noon on Tuesday in response to COVID-19.

Campgrounds and restrooms in New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River are closed indefinitely. 


pxhere.com

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that older adults and people with underlying chronic health conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from the coronavirus. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, West Virginia has the highest percentage of at-risk adults of any state in the country

 

This is one of the reasons Gov. Jim Justice gave at a press conference on March 13, when he announced that schools would close.

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

The only hospital in a southern West Virginia county is closing after the coronavirus crisis disrupted attempts to sell the business, news outlets report.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a global mask shortage is putting healthcare workers on the front lines at risk. Some West Virginians are taking matters into their own hands. We also learn how grandparents are coping with the coronavirus.

Adobe Stock

Medical experts have spent years promoting telehealth as an option for rural areas with little access to in-person care.

Now, after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a “stay home” order that took effect on Tuesday, March 24, some medical providers are offering telehealth as a way to keep more people healthy at home during the coronavirus. 

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials say the state is faring well with handling the coronavirus compared to other hot spots around the globe, but that residents need to continue to stay the course by staying at home. 

At a virtual news conference held Monday, March 30, the governor announced additional executive orders to help stop the spread of the virus. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, rural hospitals are closing throughout the region and the country, and a sweeping pandemic is highlighting just how vulnerable that leaves communities.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

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