Today marked the first day of West Virginia’s reopening plan. At his daily virtual press conference Gov. Jim Justice announced he will lift the stay-at-home order on Monday, May 4th, and will issue a new edict he’s calling “safer at home.”
Justice said West Virginia’s rates of new positive coronavirus cases look good and remain under 3 percent. In fact he said, although the state data is tracking the cumulative average from March 30 to today, out of the last five days, three of them had new positive cases in the 1 percent range.
Additionally, coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said West Virginia is now seeing more people recovering from the disease than are newly active. Officials said that’s because of the activities individuals have taken to protect themselves and their communities from contracting the virus such as wearing a mask in public and social distancing.
Although restrictions are lifting, Justice urged residents to continue to work from home if possible, wear a mask in public and stay six feet away from neighbors. When asked about the possibility of a second surge in cases as things reopen, officials were cautiously optimistic and said West Virginia’s data indicates low community spread.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.