WV governor sends National Guard to the eastern panhandle following uptick in coronavirus cases

West Virginia

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JEFFERSON AND BERKELEY COUNTIES, W.Va. (WDVM) — After seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 test results in the eastern panhandle, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that he is sending members of the National Guard to assist local health departments in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties.

According to Justice, members of the West Virginia National Guard will be working to identify gaps or needs in the local area for COVID-19 response and then will report back to him on May 22 with their findings. According to health officials in Berkeley County, they expected an uptick in results as the state begins to reopen.

“We’ve actually had 872 people come through our screening clinic in Berkeley County,” Bill Kearns, director of the Berkeley-Morgan County Department of Health, “and out of that, our results yielded right around 15 people identified as being positive.”

“If the numbers pan out that we got a continuation of a potential problem,” said Justice, “we’ll move forward with either mandatory masks or we’ll move forward with whatever we need to do.”

Gov. Justice says he will consider amending restrictions on a county-by-county basis.

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