Eastern Panhandle residents share mixed emotions on state’s reopening plan

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Week One starts Thursday, April 30th

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM)– West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced the Mountain State will start re-opening, causing mixed emotions among residents. 

“Week 1” phase of the plan to reopen West Virginia is in effect immediately starting Thursday, April 30th, which means allowing elective medical procedures and other similar operations.

“I’m happy and wonderful. It’s a start in the right direction of moving things forward,” said Martinsburg Resident James Kelly. “We always have to be careful, keep a mask, wash your hands but move forward at a nice sturdy pace and we can work this out.”

The plan is called “West Virginia Strong – The Comeback” and allows businesses in certain sectors to reopen in phases over the next six weeks if the rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the state remains low. However, Eastern Panhandle residents seem to have mixed emotions.

“I just can’t wait to get back out and do everything again,” said Martinsburg Resident Wayne Kapuscinski. “My dog loves walking, can’t stand sitting in the house, I can’t stand sitting in the house either.”

“I don’t like the fact we’re reopening because we might get a second round of coronavirus and if we do get a second round, that might make us quarantine again and stay inside longer,” said Martinsburg Resident Amanda Brand.

After Week One, Week Two involves re-opening churches, funeral operations, outdoor dining, hair salons, and any small business with under 10 employees. But, reopening is a choice, not a requirement 

“I just think that it’s a good thing we’re opening but they might need to be more careful on which businesses are opening first,” said Martinsburg Resident Adam Cox.

At the end of the day, residents in the Eastern Panhandle remain cautious but are trusting the process.

“I’m pretty much indifferent, I think we need to leave it up to the professionals,” said Martinsburg Resident Aaron Rogers. “Just leave it to the doctors and the important people. I don’t think the decision should be taken lightly.”

Weeks three through six involve re-opening gyms, parks, dine-in restaurants, hotels, and other small businesses.

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