CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials yesterday for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
STATE FAIR OF WEST VIRGINIA
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that the State Fair of West Virginia’s Board of Directors has voted to move forward with plans to hold the 2020 State Fair as scheduled, from Aug. 13, 2020 through Aug. 22, 2020.
“We congratulate all those with the State Fair on their decision to move forward,” Gov. Justice said. “They’re going to abide by strict guidelines, but the fair is so meaningful to so many people. It’s a phenomenal event and it’s a celebration of West Virginia.”
In the interest of public health, numerous programming changes including limited crowds, changes to concerts and free entertainment, and increased advance ticket sales will be announced in the coming weeks. State Fair officials will also be implementing measures for social distancing, enhanced cleaning procedures, employee screening, and COVID-19 testing for carnival employees and other groups working the fair. Specific procedures will be posted on the State Fair website when they become available.
REOPENING STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that plans continue to be made to transition State employees back into government office buildings.
“Many people have worked from home and they have done terrific work, I don’t think we’ve skipped a beat,” Gov. Justice said. “I want our state workers to know that their safety is paramount and our highest concern.”
The Governor said that he wants Cabinet Secretaries to have the flexibility to bring employees back in a way that makes sense for their individual agency. Telework will continue for the most vulnerable individuals and for offices that can maintain full services with remote work.
The West Virginia National Guard will help ensure each agency has proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures in place for each facility.
Safety guidelines for the reopening of government office buildings are now available.
“Our people have done a terrific job,” Gov. Justice said. “They’ve kept us running in the most essential way; they kept our government up and going.
“We congratulate them on that and, as we bring them back, we just want them to feel like we’re bringing them back in a very safe atmosphere.”
NURSING HOME VISITATION GUIDELINES NOW AVAILABLE
Additionally Thursday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that guidelines are now available outlining the procedures to resume visitation at West Virginia’s nursing homes.
Yesterday, the Governor and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources unveiled a multi-phased plan to resume nursing home visitation, with limitations, beginning as early as next Wednesday, June 17.
If, on June 17, a nursing home has had no active COVID-19 cases for at least the past 14 consecutive days, visitation will be permitted to resume, with certain restrictions in place.
Gov. Justice announced that, under the plan, appointments will be required to visit any nursing home. 
Additional visitation rules will be determined on a facility-by-facility basis, but may include restrictions to the number of visitors permitted at once, age restrictions, time limits, contact limitations, and more.
On March 12, Gov. Justice asked all nursing homes to ban visitation to their facilities. On April 17, Gov. Justice issued an executive order to test every nursing home resident and employee – making West Virginia the first state in the nation to order the full testing of its nursing homes.
CLARIFICATION ON FIRE DEPARTMENT FUNDRAISERS
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice clarified that fire departments are not restricted from holding fundraiser events.
“We had a question yesterday in regard to our volunteer fire departments and their ability to raise money,” Gov. Justice said. “All we ask is that you maintain social distance and hold these fundraisers in a safe manner.
“I urge our people to know how important our volunteer fire departments are,” Gov. Justice continued. “We should all try to find a way to support these great organizations and the need that all of us have for them. 
“This is an area where we all need to step up to the plate. Please, West Virginia, search your heart, and if you can find a way to help or donate or come to some fundraising event, do so please.”


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