CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On Wednesday, April 29, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced for the state to begin its plans to reopen, the state will need to have a Cumulative Percent Positive Test Results below 3% for three consecutive days.
The reopening of West Virginia’s economy is phased into a three to six-week schedule. Beginning on Thursday, April 30, “Week 1” will allow health clinics and facilities to reopen, which includes dentistry, physical therapy, mental health and daycare.
“Week 2” will begin on May 4 and includes beauty salons and any business with 10 employees or less. “Week 3-6” includes all other businesses and the order of which is yet to be determined, but businesses will get a one-week advance notice that they can open.
Gov. Justice said this is possible thanks to West Virginians who took the correct precautionary measures.
“We have witnessed the miracle of West Virginia and the miracle has been you, West Virginians. You’ve listened, you’ve responded, you’ve kept your distance…” said Gov. Justice.
The stay-in-place order is still in effect and Gov. Justice still encourages everyone to wear masks when out in public and practice social distancing.
Health experts also shared some other potentially good news on Wednesday, saying a possible vaccine that’s been tested on monkeys who’ve been challenged with the Coronavirus has shown to be successful.
West Virginia COVID-19 Czar, Dr. Clay Marsh said, “there is a vaccine that’s been produced from the Oxford Group in the United Kingdom and this basically using a targeting approach against the spike protein on the Coronavirus.”
“Six monkeys were injected with the vaccine, which is a close connection with people and they were fine 28 days later and so that gives us some hope that this vaccine may be effective,” said Marsh.
He also said that new data shows that one person who has COVID-19 has a less than one chance of infecting another person.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources also reports that 96% of West Virginia’s nursing homes have been tested.
As of 5:00 p.m., the WV DHHR says the state has received 42,784 laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 1,109 positive cases, 41,675 negative tests, 545 recoveries and 40 deaths.
Counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 include Barbour (4), Berkeley (143), Boone (3), Braxton (2), Brooke (3), Cabell (42), Fayette (12), Gilmer (2), Grant (1), Greenbrier (3), Hampshire (7), Hancock (9), Hardy (5), Harrison (30), Jackson (129), Jefferson (77), Kanawha (157), Lewis (4), Lincoln (1), Logan (12), Marion (45), Marshall (11), Mason (12), McDowell (6), Mercer (10), Mineral (15), Mingo (2), Monongalia (102), Monroe (5), Morgan (10), Nicholas (6), Ohio (27), Pendleton (3), Pleasants (2), Pocahontas (2), Preston (13), Putnam (25), Raleigh (8), Randolph (4), Roane (6), Summers (1), Taylor (6), Tucker (4), Tyler (3), Upshur (4), Wayne (85), Wetzel (3), Wirt (3), Wood (39), Wyoming (1).