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Virus concerns shut Greenbrier resort in West Virginia

March 19th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Concerns over the coronavirus pandemic is prompting a resort owned by West Virginia's governor to close temporarily. The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs said on its website that it will shut down Thursday and plans to reopen April 17. The Greenbrier said the decision was made on the advice of state government and health officials and that the health and safety of the resort's guests and employees “is our top priority.”

The resort in southeastern West Virginia is owned by Republican Gov. Jim Justice. He bought The Greenbrier out of bankruptcy in 2009.

Justice put his daughter in charge of the Greenbrier after he took office in 2017, while his son took over his coal businesses.

State officials say that, as of Wednesday, 148 people have been tested for the virus, with 143 negatives, three tests pending and two positive cases in the Eastern Panhandle county of Jefferson, and in Mercer County in the far southern part of the state.

Justice declared a state of emergency Monday. The next day he ordered bars, restaurants and casinos in the state to close for two weeks with the exception of carry-out and delivery food services, and expanded the closures Wednesday to include gyms, health clubs and recreation centers. Schools statewide are closed until at least March 27.

The governor's office also said the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration suspended existing rules and is now allowing bars and restaurants to sell to-go unopened beer and wine — but no liquor — to customers who have bought food.

West Virginia University Medicine on Wednesday opened drive-thru coronavirus testing sites for pre-screened patients in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg. The sites tested 166 people Wednesday, WVU medicine said in a news release. Results should be available in three-to-four days.

On Thursday, Marshall Health, Mountain Health Network and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department was opening a drive-thru testing center in Huntington.

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