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W.Va. moves to start reopening, though key criteria unclear

April 25th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has rolled out aggressive steps to reopen daycares and restaurants without setting specific benchmarks on testing, equipment and coronavirus tracking. Speaking in broad strokes, the Republican governor said he wanted daycares and outdoor seating at restaurants to open as soon as possible. The strategy comes days after he announced hospitals will resume elective procedures as early as next week.

Justice, a billionaire coal and agricultural businessman without previous government experience, said the state will take "baby steps" in lifting virus restrictions to avoid a jump in cases. He will mandate testing of all daycare staff and said he is looking into doing temperature checks on kids and parents.

 

“We absolutely want to come back to work but we want to make sure that we do not have a backlash,” Justice said, adding he will give more reopening details early next week.

Still, Justice and his administration did not outline criteria on testing capacity, virus contact tracing and personal protective equipment availability that they were using to make their decisions. Similar guidelines are included in a three-phase White House plan for states to use to reopen economies.

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