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West Virginia governor issues ‘stay home’ order Monday, all non-essential businesses forced to close

Governor Jim Justice called COVID-19 the “biggest event of any living person in the United States today” and issued a statewide stay-at-home order during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

“There is no event, ever, in the history of time, that has been like this to all the living people in the United States of America today,” Justice said. “Today, I am moving forward, right now, with a stay home order… This shuts down all non-essential businesses. The order will go into effect at 8 p.m. tomorrow.”

The governor clarified that a stay-at-home order would still allow residents to shop for food and check on family members.

“You can leave your home to perform or receive essential services or if you work at an essential service business,” Justice said. “A stay home order is not martial law… It is not that we are shutting down the state borders. It is not that we are closing any state bridges or roads.

“If your business is not essential, you will be temporarily closed.”

The governor said the order will last indefinitely.

Click here to read the full 15-page order.

In addition, the governor said he was ordering cabins and restrooms at state parks be closed, but golf courses and trails would remain open. He also declared Wednesday a day of prayer.

The governor said that as of Sunday night, West Virginia had 16 positive cases.

“One of those cases is a nursing home lady,” Justice said. “This is the first case we’ve had of community transmission, so it is really significant.”

The governor said 1,500 tests had been submitted statewide and were awaiting results.

West Virginia reported four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state on Sunday, bringing the total number up to 16.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources [on Sunday] confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at 16,” according to a press release from the DHHR. “New cases were identified in Jefferson, Kanawha and Monongalia counties.”

According to the DHHR, “The breakdown of cases by county are three individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, three individuals from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, two from Monongalia County, one from Putnam County and two individuals from Tucker County.”

Justice said the state was “processing unemployment claims at lightspeed” and noted 17,000 claims were submitted last week alone.

“And I really expect that to go higher,” Justice said.

Here are details from the governor’s office about the stay home order:

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia, Gov. Justice issued a Stay at Home Order today, directing all West Virginia residents to stay at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs.


  • Go to the grocery, convenience, or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog, and be in nature for exercise – just Keep at least six feet between you and others
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers


  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services or work for an essential business as defined by the Order, available at governor.wv.gov
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than six feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other

What is the difference between ”Stay at Home” and ”social distancing”?

Stay at home is a stricter form of social distancing Stay at home means:

  • Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
  • Only go out for essential services
  • Stay six feet or more away from others
  • Don’t gather in groups

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