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4/13 Morning Briefing

Cases of COVID 19 in West Virginia

Updated: 4/13/2020- 88 New Reported Cases since Friday

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is the official reporting agency for COVID-19, which in turn provides official case numbers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical providers and laboratories are required to report positive test results to DHHR. The data in the daily reports include all known positive cases but underreports the total number of individuals tested as not all laboratories are able to electronically submit negative test results.

Click here to view the list of current testing sites.

EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED FOR FOUR ADDITIONAL COUNTIES

 

An executive order was also issued by the Governor to add Cabell, Ohio, Wayne, and Wood counties to the list of community clusters for the spread of the virus and gives the local health departments in those counties the authority to further restrict and tighten rules on social distancing and essential services.

 

That brings the total statewide to 11 counties that have received that designation. He added that Jackson County was also considered but local health officials there believe the additional sanctions aren’t needed at this time.

 

Read the Executive Order here. 

 

View all executive orders issued by Gov. Justice related to COVID-19 response here. 

 

 

Gov. Justice continues to encourage all West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented by President Donald J. Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

Governor Justice asks all West Virginians to stay the course – Stay home- stay safe

Americans are receiving via direct deposit their first stimulus checks from the Treasury Department sent to help alleviate the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Treasury Department said the first payments, to Americans who received their 2018 and 2019 tax returns via direct deposit, will be going out no later than April 15. Millions of Americans could wait months for mailed stimulus checks, IRS tells Dems

Those who have not filed taxes are being directed to go to IRS.gov to enter their information so they can get their economic impact payments faster by direct deposit. There is no commitment from the Treasury at this time regarding people who are waiting on paper checks, which may take a little longer to disburse. Treasury also said it will launch a new app next week called “Get My Payment” to expedite the delivery of funds for tax filers who did not receive their refund electronically. The stimulus checks are part of a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to provide essential relief to American workers and an economy reeling from the coronavirus crisis.

ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL BEING PUT TO WORK TO HELP PROCESS AVALANCHE OF UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Gov. Justice said despite ”working 24/7,” unemployment claims still aren’t being processed fast enough. So in response, 24 staff members from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, five State Troopers and 60 temporary employees are being hired and will begin working Monday to assist WorkForce West Virginia and the National Guard in continuing to handle the massive number of claims that have and continue to be filed.

“WorkForce West Virginia is doing a great job, they are working it as hard as they can work it but the number of claims is an avalanche,” Gov. Justice said. “Nobody could have planned for it. But we’re going to stay right on top of it. We tripled our efforts once with the National Guard and we’re going to triple our efforts again by bringing 60 more people on and processing all these claims.”

File a claim for unemployment here. 

The  West Virginia Adopt A Highway Spring Cleanup has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Division of Highways and Department of Environmental Protection announced the change for the event that had been scheduled for April 25.

“The event has not yet been officially rescheduled.

Include your comments and questions on Tele-Town Hall by emailing mrotellini@brccc.com

FAIRMONT REGIONAL BEING CONSIDERED, BUT NOT NEEDED AS SURGE HOSPITAL AT THIS TIME; WVU HEALTH SYSTEMS CONTINUING WORK ON REOPENING

“Fairmont Regional Medical Center has been looked at from day one,” Gov. Justice said. “Right now we don’t have the need for it to be a surge hospital. But I want to assure the people of Fairmont and Marion County that WVU Health Systems is moving ahead full steam to get that community hospital back open. They are waiting on equipment to be delivered in the near future and hopefully by late May or the early days of June they’ll be ready to go.

CALL FOR PPE AT NURSING HOMES ACROSS THE STATE BEING ADDRESSED

“We heard from West Virginia Health Care Association today about their needs for personal protective equipment and the DHHR and National Guard are in contact with them and finding out what those facilities that serve our seniors and others need,” Gov. Justice indicated.

OPTUM EMOTIONAL SUPPORT HELPLINE

Gov. Justice said Optum, a division of UnitedHealth (our PEIA benefits manager), is now offering an Emotional Support helpline that is available to all West Virginians who may be experiencing anxiety or stress due to the COVID-19 crisis. The free service can be reached 24/7 at 866-342-6892.

WV Chamber of Commerce

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with law firms, banks and certified public accountants to help answer questions that businesses have during the COVID-19 crisis. If businesses need guidance from one of these resources, they are encouraged to e-mail forjobs@wvchamber.com with their request. They’re asked to please include the following with their request: 

 

Name

Company

Phone

E-Mail Address

Help Requested (Law Firms, Banks or CPAs) 

 

Once their request is submitted to forjobs@wvchamber.com it will be forwarded to the appropriate source.

 

SBA COVID-19 Information Webinar for Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office and the West Virginia Small Business Development Center will host training on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance, and the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Training Schedule:

Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Friday, April 10, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Monday, April 13, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Click here for more information.

 

Mountain State Centers in Beckley and in Huntington are still open. Under orders from the Governor, the staff is working from home, and are available to assist consumers, people with disabilities, with their needs. People can call to leave a message at the Beckley office at 304-255-0122 or the Huntington office at 304-525-3324.

 

Click here to learn more about filing for unemployment.

The fastest way to file for benefits is online at www.workforcewv.org. A step-by-step guide to filing an initial claim may be found by going to the Unemployment section of WorkForce’s website and then clicking the Claimants tab. Those who do not have internet access, have a disability requiring assistive technology or need further assistance should call 1-800-252-JOBS.

About 64 million households across the nation are receiving a paper questionnaire in the coming days as the U.S. Census Bureau continues to ensure responding to the census is easier than ever. Of the nation’s households, 46.2% have already responded to the 2020 Census. The remaining households will receive a paper questionnaire starting April 8. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.   

The 2020 Census is open for self-response online at 2020census.gov, over the phone by calling the number provided in your invitation, or by paper through the mail.

UPDATE FROM THE WV NATIONAL GUARD

From the West Virginia National Guard:

Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 28 days ago, the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) has completed 310 missions through our four lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, nearly 570 members of the (WVNG) are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

 Since our last update, members of Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (TF-CRE) supported the testing of 90 personnel for COVID-19 at the Wayne Continuous Care Center in Wayne County and also provided personal protective equipment (PPE) training for the staff of Eastbrook Center and delivered 60 Tyvek suits to the facility to address PPE needs. The suits are able to be decontaminated and will limit the amount of single-use PPE items needed at the facility.

 TF-CRE provided training to 63 retail establishments, including Kroger’s in Charleston on proper cargo, box handling, and PPE wear. Additionally, this team hosted the first decontamination training session with a hotelier in Cabins, West Virginia, and will expand training guidance on proper sanitation and best practices for the tourism industry and hotels next week, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 So far, TF-CRE has trained more than 250 stores and 930 personnel while also assisting with COVID-19 drive through testing lanes in Huntington, Grafton, Weston and Brooke County. Drive through testing support will expand to include Wyoming, Mingo, Logan, Williamson, and Hampshire by next week.

 We have increased our number of personnel supporting the Workforce West Virginia mission to 23 and our service members are undergoing training to begin processing unemployment claims, which will start next week. Our number of support personnel will increase to 30 in the coming days.

 The WVNG, in collaboration with the West Virginia Office of Technology (WVOT) and Workforce West Virginia, are evaluating new technologies that will enhance customer service and create efficiencies in claims processing to further address the current backlog and streamline future processing for West Virginians.
Our communications staff have also been working with the Department of Health and Human Resources and WVOT to address and optimize benefits processing for SNAP and WIC recipients. A recent mainframe upgrade has resulted in faster processing and this team is looking at additional ways to increase capacity for the state.

 Our mission of supporting the most vulnerable populations in the state continues to make an impact and in the last 24 hours, we packed 216 family boxes and 360 supplemental boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington and 1,813 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank.

 Task Force Sustainment, the team dedicated to moving critical PPE supplies and running supply chain logistics for COVID-19 response, delivered hand sanitizer to Yeager Airport and Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department yesterday, on top of receiving PPE and developing distribution plans for the counties in need.
Our data analysts working with DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 124 contact tracing engagements and 11 expedited specimen transfers to track the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

Read more here. 

 

 

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