The Governors Daily Press Briefing is scheduled for 12:30 PM today (5/19)
****************************************************** The Fayette County COVID 19 Task Force will be holding Community Drive-Thru Testing on Wednesday, May 20th, at the Midland Trail High School Parking lot from 10 AM-2 PM. If you have insurance you are asked to bring it with you. Anyone who wants to be tested can be tested. No doctor order required.
THE CITY OF BECKLEY HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE CITY POOLS WILL NOT BE OPENING FOR THE SUMMER SEASON. THE CITY SAYS THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE ABILITY TO KEEP SURFACES AND EQUIPMENT CLEAN AS WELL AS STAFFING WERE MAJOR FACTORS IN MAKING THAT DECISION.
West Virginia Classic’s Car Club in Fayetteville is planning Saturday Cruises starting Saturday in Oak Hill and continue every Saturday for the rest of the summer. Line up will be in the Old K mark parking lot in Oak Hill at 4 PM Saturday
Tamarack, the iconic West Virginia artisan market, gallery, deli, and grill, will be reopening on Thursday, May 21. They will be open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, closed Mondays. Curbside to-go meals will still be available Tuesday-Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Thursday, May 21 at 11 am will be the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Celebration for CAMPESTRE Mexican Bar & Grill in their New Beckley WV Location (Old Hooters Location on Harper Road) campestre.com
During his latest daily COVID-19 press briefing today, Gov. Jim Justice announced that several new businesses and entities will soon be allowed to resume operations as part of the Governor’s reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.
INDOOR SHOPPING MALLS
Gov. Justice announced that indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen this Thursday, May 21, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.Guidance: Indoor shopping malls and similar facilities“From the standpoint of our specialty retail opening back up and our big box stores opening back up, naturally, our malls should be open,” Gov. Justice said. “Working with our medical experts, we now have additional guidelines on our indoor malls and we feel very comfortable with them.”
ADDITIONAL WEEK 5 REOPENINGS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice added several businesses and entities to the list of Week 5 reopenings on Tuesday, May 26:
Gov. Justice had previously announced that state park cabins and lodges would also be able to reopen on Tuesday, May 26, for use by in-state residents only.
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that spas and massage businesses will be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, provided that all additional guidelines are followed. Guidance documents will be made available online.
“We want to give people a heads up on a date that they can plan and gear up for,” Gov. Justice said.
CASINOS & LIMITED VIDEO LOTTERIES
Additionally today, Gov. Justice announced that limited video lottery retailers will also be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, while all casinos across the state will be allowed to open their doors beginning on Friday, June 5, provided that all additional guidelines are followed. Guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.“Our Lottery Director, John Myers, has worked closely with all of the operations in the state and with the medical experts to develop guidance that will allow these facilities to open safely,” Gov. Justice said.“As we continue to go forward and as we continue to get closer and closer with dates, we’re monitoring our numbers all the time,” Gov. Justice continued. “We very well could have to change these dates if our numbers change. But, hopefully, we won’t. Our numbers have been unbelievable and, if they stay this way, we’ll be able to open more and more.”
PREVIOUSLY-ANNOUNCED REOPENINGS TAKE EFFECT THIS WEEK
Also today, Gov. Justice offered a reminder about several previously-announced reopenings that are scheduled to take effect this week. Reopening today; Monday, May 18
Fitness centers, gymnasiums, and recreation centers
Sports training facilities (gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, martial arts, and similar facilities)
Reopening Thursday, May 21
Indoor dining at restaurants
Large/specialty retail stores
State park campgrounds for in-state residents only (Guidance for ALL campgrounds)
Hatfield McCoy Trail System
Outdoor recreation rentals (Kayaks, bicycles, boats, rafts, canoes, ATVs, and similar equipment)
Outdoor motorsport and power sports racing with no spectators
ALL COUNTIES REMOVED FROM HOTSPOT LIST
Gov. Justice also announced that, with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources putting its new “High Alert Status” system in place to quickly identify specific areas in West Virginia that may be experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, all counties that were still remaining on the list of community hotspots have now been removed from the list by executive order. This includes Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Jefferson, and Berkeley counties.“At this point in time, under the new system, we no longer have counties on the hotspot alert,” Gov. Justice said. “Our medical experts will be watching all of our 55 counties closely as we move forward with our new High Alert Status system.”
DHHR TESTING UPDATE
During his remarks today, Secretary Bill Crouch with the West Virginia DHHR reported that 2,388 individuals from several communities that have been identified as particularly susceptible to COVID-19 were tested over the weekend as part of the DHHR’s new initiative to test more minority and vulnerable populations throughout the state.A breakdown of the drive-thru testing that was provided is as follows:
Berkeley County: 872 tests performed
Jefferson County: 748 tests performed
Mercer County: 364 tests performed
Raleigh County: 404 tests performed
“We are still awaiting the results from those tests…they will take a couple of days,” Sec. Crouch said. “We have additional testing scheduled for this week and will announce those later this week.”
NEW WEBSITE STREAMLINING CARES ACT APPLICATIONS FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that a new web portal is now available for city and county government officials across West Virginia to apply for grant funding through the federal CARES Act.“I encourage all the cities and counties to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “As we get applications, we’ll work our way through them very quickly and find things they are qualified for and get those monies to you very quickly.”Applications are available at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call a helpline for more information by dialing 1-833-94-GRANT.“The federal guidelines are changing nonstop, they’re very fluid,” Gov. Justice said. “Jim Justice believes, as he has from day one, that the guidelines will become favorable for us before it’s over and, even though we encourage you to apply now, we want you to know that you can continue to apply as we go forward.”
Today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has dropped, once again, to 1.96 percent. West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.
DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier announced today that the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles will resume the remaining services that were put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with some modifications. Beginning May 26th, the DMV will offer appointments for services that must be done in-person, including transferring an out-of-state driver’s license, issuing an original identification card, reissuing an ID card or driver’s license with changes, driver knowledge examinations, and salesperson knowledge examinations. Appointments will be offered at the following regional office locations:
Kanawha City / Charleston
Charles Town / Kearneysville
In addition, the DMV will resume driver skill examinations on May 26th at nine locations where new courses have been developed that will allow the driver examiner to observe the driving from outside the car while the applicant completes the test with a licensed parent or other licensed driver over the age of 21 accompanying the driver in the vehicle. The nine Regional Offices conducting driver skills courses include all of the previously listed locations above except Winfield. Additional locations for driver skills tests will be announced as they are made available.
The DMV will unveil an online appointment scheduling app the week of May 18th, for appointments beginning May 26th. Applicants for a commercial driver’s license have been using an appointment system since March and may continue to do so. The switch to an appointment-based system will help protect customers from exposure to large crowds and will reduce wait times at the offices. Safety measures in addition to the appointment based system include upgrading the regional offices with plexiglass wall dividers (in progress), temperature checks and masks for employees, and plenty of cleaning supplies.
To further assist customers, Commissioner Frazier is modifying the previous 90-day extensions granted for certain expiring documents to a blanket August 1st extension for all documents that expired or expire between March 1, 2020, and August 1, 2020. This extension applies to the following documents:
Any Driver’s License including Graduated Driver’s License (levels 1, 2, and 3, and includes February expiration dates) and Commercial Driver’s License
Instructional Permits, including Commercial Permits
Vehicle registration, including temporary vehicle registrations or plates, and IRP registration
The DMV has also greatly enhanced the online renewal system so that the vast majority of transactions can be completed remotely, and reminds customers that all title and registration work can be completed by mail or through any of the open license and title agencies across the state. A list of license agencies is available by going to dmv.wv.gov. Customers are encouraged to continue to utilize DMV’s online services portal to handle many of their most requested transactions, including:
Driver’s license renewal (if no changes, and every other cycle)
Duplicate driver’s license request
Vehicle registration renewals
Duplicate vehicle registration decals and cards
Print your driving record
Check your driver’s license status
A full list of online services may be found by going to dmv.wv.gov
“We now have a solution for every service that the DMV offers,” says Commissioner Frazier, “although the method of delivery may be different than in the past. Necessity is the mother of invention and we hope that the additional online services and appointment-based scheduling system will have a positive impact on customer service long after the pandemic is in our rearview mirror. We have learned to be more flexible and I know that we will continue to make modifications to make our service better than ever.”
For more information, you may contact the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-642-9066.