CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is one of the first states to start reopening businesses and industries forced to close amid the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The state is currently in Week 2 of its reopening dubbed "West Virginia Strong — The Comeback."
Under Week 2 of the plan, Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Monday allowed the reopening of small businesses, barber shops, nail salons, plus church and funeral services.
Restaurants can allow outdoor dining. The move includes restrictions and is contingent on the state’s positive virus test rate staying below a certain threshold. In subsequent weeks, offices, hotels, casinos, restaurants and other remaining businesses could reopen.
Week 1 of the West Virginia Strong Plan saw the reopening of certain types of medical services, such as elective medical procedures, outpatient health care operations, including primary care, dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, psychological/mental health, and other similar practices.
“We’ve come up with a methodology that we think will move us forward, with science and math behind it, and experts behind it, and leadership behind it, we’re absolutely moving in the right way,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to monitor and watch every day and we’re going to take small steps and we will see where we are.
Week 3 through Week 6 will see additional types of West Virginia businesses opening. These businesses will include office and government buildings, specialty retail stores, parks, gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, dine-in restaurants, hotels, casinos, spas and massage establishments, plus other nonessential businesses and operations.
While many are ready for businesses to reopen across West Virginia, Gov. Justice has seen some bipartisan support for how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic, and it has come from Sen. Joe Manchin (D), who recently praised the governor's approach to handling COVID-19 in the state.
You can see more details on West Virginia's reopening plan by clicking here.