News

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

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported three additional cases of the coronavirus Thursday night.  

Head of the Ohio Regatta, Ohio River
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As the world grapples with the fast-moving spread of the coronavirus, many of us may be out of our normal routines. Maybe we’re trying to answer email with kids at home; maybe we’re worried about loved ones or our own financial wellbeing in this uncertain time.

For many, the uncertainty is causing real anxiety. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, an assistant research professor at West Virginia University, says one way to cope is with something called compassion meditation. While many of us are practicing social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus, tapping into our compassion for others may help manage coronavirus-related anxiety.

Reporter Brittany Patterson spoke with Brefczynski-Lewis about how thinking of others during this time can help us all feel less alone. Here is an excerpt of their conversation, which was recorded over Zoom.


Office of Gov. Jim Justice

In a Thursday news conference that was wide ranging on West Virginia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Jim Justice announced that he has tested negative for the disease. The governor also provided an update on various aspects of the state’s response to COVID-19, which has swept the globe in recent months. 

Speaking to the public through a remote news conference in which the press was allowed to participate virtually, Justice explained that he was made aware that he had contact with a man who has been identified as the person with West Virginia’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

Energy producers, utilities and energy sector workers across the Ohio Valley are adjusting operations and bracing for continued economic impacts as the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

Shepherd University Sign, McMurran Hall
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Shepherd University President Mary Hendrix announced Wednesday that the remainder of the 2020 spring semester will be taught completely online.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice has issued an executive order that will allow more West Virginians affected by the coronavirus to receive unemployment benefits. The order follows the closure of many businesses that have forced thousands of layoffs.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, stories of hope and resilience, of communities coming together while also staying apart, all in response to the coronavirus. We’ll hop around the state to hear how communities are making sure kids have the food they need to continue to thrive despite being out of school.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

The Portland-based band Frution makes their Mountain Stage debut with songs from Wild As The Night.

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

A second West Virginia resident has tested positive for coronavirus, one day after the governor confirmed the state’s first positive case.  

Ohio Valley Automakers Hit Brakes To Limit Coronavirus Transmission

Mar 18, 2020
Courtesy Toyota

Automakers across the Ohio Valley are temporarily closing their plants in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes the big three U.S. automakers — Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler — and Toyota. 

Courtesy Berkeley County Schools

Schools across West Virginia closed Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks in an effort to help stem the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Since the shutdown was announced, West Virginians around the state have been working to make sure students are fed. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, more than two-thirds  of school-aged children, or more than 183,000, qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. 

vote, voting, polls
Jeff Gentner / AP Photo

 


As other states announce plans to delay primary elections over the concern of the growing coronavirus pandemic, West Virginia still plans to hold elections Tuesday, May 12. 

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Public Broadcasting is looking for the perfect candidate with the highest level of journalistic and ethical standards to lead its reporting team as News Director.

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

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Governor Jim Justice has announced an expanded set of business closures in hopes to combat the spread of coronavirus.

At a Wednesday news conference, Justice announced that gyms, health clubs and recreational  facilities are being directed to close for two weeks. 

Adobe Stock

West Virginia University Medicine on Wednesday opened drive-thru coronavirus testing sites for pre-screened patients.

The sites will be in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg, according to a WVU Medicine news release. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll talk to an author and playwright who has thought a lot about how growing up in our region shapes what we become. We’ll also bring you the latest headlines on coronavirus in West Virginia.

ALYSSE GAFKJEN

Our Mountain Stage event scheduled for April 26, with Yola, Joan Shelley, Carsie Blanton and Kim Richey in Athens, OH is canceled. We will work to reschedule the artists as soon as we’re able, and we hope to return to the campus of Ohio University as soon as possible.

West Virginia University

Work is underway in West Virginia to develop tests for coronavirus. 

Clay Marsh, WVU Health Sciences Vice President and Executive Dean, said several entities, including WVU, are in the process of developing their own test for the disease. 

“We’re not necessarily trying to replace anybody,” he said. “We’re just trying to add to the ability to test more people, more quickly.” 

WVPB

Internet providers, including some serving West Virginia, are signing a 60-day pledge with the Federal Communications Commission to continue serving customers affected by state and federal coronavirus precautions. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

In a Tuesday evening address, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced the state’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus, as well as the closing of some businesses to combat the spread of the disease. 

Justice urged residents not to panic as the state continues to respond to the pandemic that’s so far stricken more than 4,200 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

Hello, everyone, I'm Governor Jim Justice, and I really appreciate you joining me tonight. 

We've got some things to talk about that are very serious, very concerning. But I want you, again, to listen closely and not be fearful and not panic. Over the last several weeks, I've been working with all of our health superstars. They've been feeding me all kinds of different information as well as our great General Hoyer with our great National Guard. 

Fairmont Regional Medical Center

The Fairmont Regional Medical Center is shutting down ahead of schedule and will cease operations over the next several days, the hospital's owner said in a letter Monday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear a harrowing snake story. We’ll also bring you the latest update on the state response to the coronavirus.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

One of the reasons coronavirus is so scary is that it is possible to be a carrier for the disease and not know it. Some people are asymptomatic and some people have mild symptoms. But as of Monday, West Virginia has only tested 84 people for coronavirus – out of a state of 1.8 million. Critics say that’s not nearly enough.

If you wanted to check to see if you had coronavirus so you could make sure you’re in the clear before going to visit an elderly relative – could you? 

The short answer? No – not in West Virginia, at least.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

Communities in Southern West Virginia worked to feed kids Monday, the first day schools were closed in an effort to slow the potential spread of the coronavirus.


Office of Gov. Jim Justice

This is a developing story and will be updated. Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

Gov. Jim Justice has declared a state of emergency for all 55 of West Virginia’s counties in response to the coronavirus. The announcement was made at a news conference Monday following a federal state of emergency declaration over the weekend.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump announced new coronavirus guidelines for at least the next 15 days, including that Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people.

In a briefing at the White House on Monday, he also urged people to avoid discretionary travel and going out to bars, restaurants and food courts. He recommended that schools close.

The stricter guidelines marked a shift for the president, who has repeatedly stated that the virus is under control.

"Whatever it takes, we're doing," Trump said.

Food Service Fallout: Coronavirus Closures Hit Ohio Valley Workers

Mar 16, 2020
Tim Sharp / WOUB

Ray’s Harvest House in Albany, Ohio, had to lay off 11 people following Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s order that all bars and restaurants close dine-in services. Denise Hager was a cook at the restaurant and said she’ll miss seeing and talking to all of her regular customers.

“I don’t like it, but then again I don’t have any control,” Hager said. 

Hager said she isn’t sure what she’ll do about the financial hit she’ll take from not working.

Restaurant owners and food service workers in the Ohio Valley are worried about their livelihoods now that Governors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana have ordered all bars and restaurants closed to dine-in customers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s a new quadruped moving slowly into the coalfields of southern West Virginia. We’ll hear more about West Virginia’s elk population, and we bring you important updates about how the state and region is working to control the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 9:50 p.m. Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

The city of Charleston, West Virginia, has declared a state of emergency as part of its response to the coronavirus. According to a news release, Mayor Amy Goodwin signed a proclamation Sunday that allows city officials to issue emergency policies and mobilize resources such as personnel, services and equipment. 

Charleston’s state of emergency was issued despite West Virginia reporting no confirmed cases of the virus. The proclamation was issued moments before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the suspension of gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

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