CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice joined state health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston Thursday for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice joined state health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston Thursday for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

CLOSURE OF BARBERSHOPS AND SALONS
During his remarks, the Governor announced that he has issued an executive order mandating the statewide closure of all barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons.
This order will officially go into effect Thursday at midnight.
“We’re trying in every way we possibly can to be the state that leads that way,” Gov. Justice said. “The state that was proactive and absolutely had a preparedness, the state that is reacting in a way that great West Virginians do and that is helping one another.”

STATE PURCHASES 100,000 SURGICAL MASKS
Also during the briefing, Gov. Justice announced that, through the Governor’s Contingency Fund, the state has purchased 100,000 N95 surgical masks from a private West Virginia business.
The West Virginia National Guardy also bought 275 sets of highly protective Tyvek suits with special filtering masks which will also be used by healthcare providers and first responders.

GOV. JUSTICE TESTED FOR COVID-19
Gov. Justice also announced during the press conference that on Feb. 15 he came into contact with an individual who has since tested positive for COVID-19. Because of this contact, the Governor was administered a test for COVID-19 Thursday and the results came back negative.

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN UPDATE
Gov. Justice also announced that the United States Small Business Administration officially declared West Virginia as an Economic Injury Disaster zone. This declaration will allow small businesses across West Virginia with great need to apply for low-interest loans.

COUNTY STAFFING EXECUTIVE ORDER
Gov. Justice also issued an executive order giving counties the authority and flexibility to evaluate courthouse services and staffing and to make decisions that are in the best interest of each respective county, as determined by officials from each county.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR THOSE AFFECTED
Earlier Thursday, the Governor filed an executive order directing the West Virginia Department of Commerce and WorkForce West Virginia to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 to the maximum extent permitted under federal law.
Individuals who are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19 are eligible for these benefits, according to the Governor’s order.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented Monday 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.