W.Va. Governor: Live performances may open

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Gov. Jim Justice

CHARLESTON - Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that all types of live music performances will now be allowed in West Virginia, and that the West Virginia DHHR COVID map will no longer be used to determine whether high schools will be open.

During a morning briefing Wednesday, Justice said he would be signing Executive Order 9-21, allowing all types of live music performances to resume, effective at midnight.

The executive order also allows all summer camps to resume on May 1, 2021.

All live music performances and summer camp operations must follow all applicable safety guidelines.

Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he would be signing Executive Order 10-21, clarifying that the DHHR’s color-coded County Alert System map will no longer be used to determine high school schedules in West Virginia.

“This system has been really valuable to us,” Gov. Justice said. “When we originally announced our color coded map for school reopenings, it was the best way to make sure we were keeping our students and teachers safe. It served us really well and I truly believe it saved a lot of lives. I thank all those that helped implement this system. But now that all of our teachers, service personnel, and other school employees who wanted the vaccine are vaccinated, it’s time for us to retire the map and move forward.

“I’m really happy to say that all of our schools are open because it’s going to fill a void for our students,” Gov. Justice continued.

All high schools will now join all of West Virginia’s Pre-K-8 schools in being open full-time and will remain open unless there is an active outbreak that would require a particular classroom within a school to close for safety reasons, a determination that will be made by local health and education officials.

“We have guidance that is directed from the DHHR and our epidemiologists, working in concert with local health departments, county health boards, and the Department of Education, that identifies substantial outbreaks; meaning that we have documented COVID in a particular area of that school,” West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said. “We then determine whether or not the exposure to others from that case is substantial enough that we need to either have a classroom be dismissed and isolated or quarantined, or more than one classroom.”

“Our team will always continue to monitor and watch as close as we possibly can, and our health experts will intervene if we feel we have to,” Gov. Justice said.