WV governor announces more business openings

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 3:19 PM EDT
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Update: 5/13/2020

The governor and West Virginia health experts continue to say that, as the state's economy reopens, remaining COVID-19 "hot spots" will continue to be watched closely.

Several counties, including Wood and Jackson, were removed from the hot spot designation last week. But others, particularly in the Eastern Panhandle, remain.

And while West Virginia ranks far below other states in positive tests and exposure to the virus, health officials say those areas with higher numbers could affect the state's recovery.

"And although, on the first part of this, we've treated all parts of the state as parts of a whole, we now understand there's 55 parts of this whole," says Dr. Clay Marsh, state coronavirus "czar". "And certainly, areas like the Eastern Panhandle surrounded by the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Northern Virginia area is probably our highest susceptibility area."


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is widening the most aggressive phase of his coronavirus reopening strategy to allow tanning salons to open just before Memorial Day weekend.

The Republican governor on Wednesday says he's been overwhelmed with requests from tanning businesses to be included among the restaurants, big-box stores and recreational services reopening next week.

Justice has picked May 21, the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, to stage the biggest step in his reopening plan, while warning that a second wave of the virus could cause catastrophic damage to the state.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails are also opening the same day, along with campgrounds for in-state residents.