Jim Justice

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

A handful of state lawmakers filed a petition with the state’s highest court on Friday, arguing that Gov. Jim Justice didn’t have the authority to issue executive orders opening and closing state businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced additional reopening plans, but state public health officials are urging residents to remain cautious of more potential coronavirus outbreaks. 

The latest round of reopenings come as the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday that 67 residents have died as a result of COVID-19. To date, the DHHR has reported 1,491 positive cases of the virus that causes the disease.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice is pushing back on criticism that he has buckled to pressure in reopening the state. In a Friday virtual briefing, the governor also addressed criticisms related to the spending of federal relief funds, as well as his approach for interacting with the news media. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice has again expanded the list of businesses that can reopen to include gyms, health clubs, whitewater rafting and ziplining.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is warning of disastrous consequences if coronavirus cases spike as he sets up the most aggressive phase of his reopening plan around Memorial Day weekend.

Pilgrim's Pride in Moorefield, W.Va.
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

This is a developing story and may be udpated.

 

The West Virginia National Guard began conducting tests for COVID-19 this week at a poultry processing plant in Moorefield, Hardy County. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive tests in the county have increased recently.

 


On this West Virginia Morning, we explore how some counties are preparing for the critical and time-intensive role of contact tracing. We also hear from healthcare workers trying to find ways to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks, and we hear how video conferencing apps may help capture family oral histories.

Adobe Stock

As the state continues to move forward in its reopening plan, Gov. Jim Justice announced the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in southern West Virginia will reopen later this month.

 

In his daily virtual press briefing Justice said the multi-county trail system popular with off-road vehicles, will reopen Thursday, May 21.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia has scaled back its plan to lift coronavirus restrictions to gauge how current reopenings will affect the state's caseload, officials said Tuesday.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he is once again revising the list of COVID-19 “hot spot” counties. Those changes come as state officials relax a stay-at home order and businesses begin to reopen under Justice’s plan. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice clarified some aspects of his plan to reopen the state and addressed concerns over what capabilities the state might have to trace a second wave of the coronavirus should it reappear. Justice said that the state will need to “find a way to live with the virus” as the economy reopens.

In a Tuesday virtual briefing, Justice said Week One of his reopening plan — which allows professional medical boards to reopen outpatient health care — is already underway. He also said Week Two would begin early next week.

On this West Virginia Morning, business owners share their efforts to get emergency SBA loans during this coronavirus crisis. And Gov. Jim Justice lays out his plans to begin reopening the state.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

This is a developing story and may be updated.

West Virginia’s rates of new coronavirus cases are trending down, and as a result, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced a plan to reopen the state’s economy.  The plan, which is expected to roll out over the course of the next three to six weeks, calls for ramping up testing, contact tracing and increasing supplies of protective gear. The plan also includes some guidelines on how businesses will reopen and vague contingencies should an increase in cases be detected.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

A federal judge in Kentucky has ordered companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to pay more than $1 million in fees and expenses in a lawsuit that accused them of defaulting on a mining contract.

Gov. Jim Justice speaks to the public and reporters in a virtual press conference held Thursday, April 23.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

With response to the coronavirus translating to a projected shortfall in the state budget of about $500 million, Gov. Jim Justice remains optimistic that West Virginia will be able to get federal aid to backfill losses in revenue. That’s despite federal guidelines released Thursday from the Trump Administration that dictate how states can use funds. 

According to guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury, states are not allowed to use funds from the CARES Act to backfill revenues lost as a result of the pandemic. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

On Monday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order allowing hospitals to resume elective procedures that are currently halted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The order calls on hospitals to be reviewed by state officials before these procedures could resume. 

The announcement is the first step Justice has made to reopening the state’s economy since non-essential businesses were closed on March 24 and a stay-at-home order was issued the following day.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

As President Donald Trump and governors around the United States make plans to reopen the nation as the threat of the coronavirus pandemic wanes but still lingers, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his advisors say they continue to try to find a path to reopening the state in a “safe and responsible way.”

Steve Helber / AP file photo

The PGA Tour has scrapped its contract to hold annual golf tournaments at a resort owned by billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice after turnout lagged and federal prosecutors eyed the lavish retreat.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and other officials continued to say the state is trending in the right direction in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic but continue to hold off on lifting orders that have brought everyday life to a screeching halt. 

In a virtual news conference held Tuesday, Justice cited a map of the United States that represented confirmed COVID-19 deaths. He noted that West Virginia reports fewer deaths than neighboring states, as well as most other states. 

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

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says four more counties have been identified as coronavirus hot spots.
 

In a virtual news conference on Friday, April 10, Justice outlined continued response to the virus,  including the identification of more hotspots, grants to cover additional pay for frontline workers and a boost to staff to handle unemployment claims.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Now more than three weeks into responding to the coronavirus pandemic, West Virginia has confirmed its fifth death related to the virus. As part of the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Jim Justice has added another executive order outlining social distancing guidelines. State officials are now also offering more detailed information on the cases that have been confirmed. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

 

For just a moment, West Virginia was the only state in the country to allow betting on the presidential election.

The short-lived play by bookmaker giant FanDuel, which was approved by the state lottery board, was announced and then quickly nixed Tuesday night in a bizarre sequence that appeared to baffle top government officials.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

Gov. Jim Justice has announced that another West Virginia county has been designated as a “hot spot” for COVID-19. Marion County will join six others who have been allowed to expand the enforcement of public health guidelines.  During a virtual news conference, Justice also said he is holding off on calling a special session to address budget issues related to the ongoing pandemic.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the latest on guidelines and restrictions enacted by your county’s officials, please contact your health department. You can find a list of those contacts here. 

Six West Virginia counties under an expanded order from Gov. Jim Justice are quickly enacting new policies aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Under the direction of local health departments, those counties have outlined changes to the amount of people businesses can allow in some stores, placed restrictions on the sales of alcohol products and enacted other guidelines to ensure the well-being of the public. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has tightened restrictions on six counties in an attempt to curb coronavirus hotspots.

West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources

Updated Friday, April 3, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle is experiencing the state’s newest cluster of the coronavirus. 

At a Friday news conference, Gov. Jim Justice and other officials said they were made aware of the outbreak just before a Friday virtual news conference that was scheduled to start at noon. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

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.

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. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Following a misreported death, falsely attributed to the coronavirus, West Virginia health officials on Friday said they are considering new protocols to prevent the spread of inaccurate information.

Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials spoke to the public through a virtual news conference, a practice that has become commonplace as an effort to combat the continued spread of the virus.

Gov. Jim Justice gives an update on coronavirus response and alerts in a virtual briefing with media and citizens on March 24, 2020.
WV Governor's Office

In Gov. Jim Justice’s daily briefing on the coronavirus, he announced three more residents and several nursing home staffers have tested positive for the disease. 

In an interview with WV MetroNews earlier Tuesday, the governor said he isn’t sure how coronavirus got into the Sundale nursing home in Morgantown, but that the instance of community transmission is "worrisome."

Pages