CHARLESTON, WV – At a press conference earlier today, Governor Jim Justice unveiled “The Comeback Roadmap,” the State’s plan to begin reopening businesses.
In order to begin the process, Justice said the State would require maintaining statewide Cumulative Percent of positive test results below 3% for three consecutive days. Also emphasized was that businesses would be allowed to open, but not required to do so until they were comfortable.
Week One mainly concentrates on opening medical care up beyond COVID-19 testing and emergency situations.
• Hospitals and elective medical procedures
• Outpatient Healthcare (working with boards and associations to develop appropriate criteria):
- Primary Care
- Physical therapy/Occupational therapy
- Psychological/mental health
• Testing of Day Care Staff
In Week Two, some businesses will begin to open with proper social distancing, sanitization and face coverings in use.
• Small businesses with less than 10 employees
• Professional Services (by appointment only and waiting in vehicle instead of inside)
- Hair and Nail Salons, barbershops
- Dog grooming
• Outdoor Dining at Restaurants
• Church and funerals with limited gathering size
- Attendees encouraged to sit at every other pew, adhering to social distancing and the use of face coverings
In Weeks Three through Six, another tier of businesses and public gathering areas will begin to open. According to Justice, these will be announced at least one week prior to opening.
• Specialty retail stores
• Parks and/or restrooms and facilities at parks
• Gyms, fitness centers, recreational centers
• Dine-in restaurants
• Spas/massage parlors
• Remaining small businesses
As life begins to get back to normal in some aspects, the Governor also stated that some restrictions will remain in place concerning:
• No nursing home visitation
• Entertainment venues such as theaters, sporting events and concerts, will remain closed until further notice.
• Concerts are still currently not being held.
Also, gatherings larger than 25 people have no timeline for reopening as of today.
The gradual opening will also be subject to slowing, stopping or reversing in the case of an unexpected increase of COVID-19 positive hospitalizations, significant outbreaks of community-based transmissions. Justice said this could be on a county by county or regional hotspot basis. The same goes if the Cumulative Percent of positive tests results surges above 3%.
The Governor once again urged West Virginia residents to continue to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings in public where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, follow the Statewide Stay at Home Order until lifted, follow all county Health Department regulations and telework when possible.
Going forward, the Governor said guidance for each business sector will be released in advance and the limitation on size of gatherings is still in place until lifted. This plan of reopening will also be subject to modification as the weeks press on.