West Virginia Strong - The Comeback

As West Virginia's Economy begins to reopen following West Virginia's Stay-at-Home order, the Governor's Office has unvelied "West Virginia Strong - The Comeback" as the state's plan for reopening. Below is the outline released by the Governor's Office as to when various sectors of the economy will reopen. The Governor's health officials will also continue to closely monitor cases of COVID-19 to minimize the risk of a "spike" or further outbreak.

 

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Reopening is a Choice, Not a Requirement

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.

 

Businesses with Questions

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with law firms, banks and certified public accountants to help answer questions that businesses have during the COVID-19 situation. If you need guidance from one of these resources, please click the link below to fill out a form with a question request.

 

 

West Virginia Reopening Schedule

 

Week One (April 30 - May 3)

In the Week 1 phase of reopenings, hospitals across West Virginia will be able to resume elective medical procedures, provided that they have a plan in place to safely phase-in procedures based on clinical judgement while following all CDC guidelines – as ordered by Gov. Justice last week. Additionally, hospitals seeking to resume elective procedures must also have adequate inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a plan to respond if there is a surge of COVID-19 patients in the future. Each hospital has the discretion to determine the best time to apply to restart elective medical procedures at their facility. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification will approve each application.

Also during Week 1, outpatient health care operations may resume, including primary care, dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, psychological/mental health, and similar practices. However, providers must follow guidance issued by their boards and/or associations to which are designed to keep healthcare professionals and patients as safe as possible.

Additionally during this period, testing of daycare staff across the state will begin.

 

Week Two (May 4 - 10)

All businesses included in the Week 2 phase of reopenings will be required to operate with physical distancing measures in effect. Businesses will also be required to implement efforts to increase sanitation and the use of face coverings.

Any small business with fewer than 10 employees would be able to resume operations during Week 2.

Additionally, all businesses providing professional services, such as hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and pet grooming will be permitted to reopen. However, customers will be required to make appointments to utilize these services and must wait in their vehicles rather than inside the business.

Outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted under strict physical distancing restrictions.

Although churches and funeral homes were deemed essential, many chose to stop in-person services. During Week 2, those that wish to resume in-person services will be encouraged to follow additional guidelines such as limiting seating to every other pew, maintaining physical distancing and wearing face covering restrictions.

 

Week Three (May 11 - 17)

Wellness facilities (gyms and fitness centers supervised by licensed professionals) and drive-in movie theaters will be among the next wave of businesses permitted to reopen as part of the upcoming Week 3 Phase of the Governor's Reopening Plan.

 

Weeks Four through Six (May 18 -)

Several additional types of businesses will be permitted to reopen from Weeks 4-6. The opening schedule for these businesses will be based upon the recommendations of state medical experts and upon testing data available at that time.

These businesses include office/government buildings, specialty retail stores, parks and/or restrooms and facilities at parks, gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, dine-in restaurants, hotels, casinos, spas/massage establishments, and other businesses.

The Governor’s Office will announce which of these businesses will be able to reopen at least one week in advance of its respective reopening date. Additional guidance on reopening will be made available for each of these businesses at that time.

 

Conditions for Reopening to Slow, Stop, or Reverse

In the event that West Virginia’s number of positive COVID-19 cases surges above the 3% threshold, the schedule of reopenings may be slowed, stopped, or reversed.

Additionally, any unexpected increase in COVID-19 positive hospitalizations or any significant outbreaks of community-based transmission (not including clusters or outbreaks in nursing homes or other vulnerable communities) may slow, stop, or reverse the reopening process as deemed necessary by Gov. Justice and state health experts. Businesses With No Timeline for Reopening Right Now Due to safety concerns, at this time, there is still no timetable to reopen visitation at nursing homes. Additionally, entertainment venues such as movie theaters, sporting events, and concerts will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

 

West Virginians Should Continue To:

As the reopening process gets underway, West Virginians should continue to practice good social distancing, maintaining at least six feet of separation between each other.

Additionally, people are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings in public where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The Governor’s Safer At Home order will remain in place until lifted at a later date.

Individuals are also required to continue following all county health department regulations and businesses are encouraged to continue allowing employees to telework if possible.