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Jesse L. Mowery of Pendleton County and Dylan J. Dayton of Grant County were both arrested for stealing a vehicle after their social media posts help lead officers to their location.
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The Grant County Circuit Court is currently handling the criminal case of Gary Duane Feaster, who is charged with embezzling money from the Mineral County Circuit Court.
Feaster, 57, of 82 Lynnwood Dr., Keyser, is charged with embezzlement and fraudulent schemes in Mineral County.
The charges stem from 2016, when Feaster, an officer of the public trust in the Mineral County Circuit Court, allegedly appropriated $1,000 from the office for his own use.
According to his indictment, Feaster was able to obtain the funds by “virtue of his position.”
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As states around the nation struggle with questions about voting during an international pandemic, West Virginia leaders announced last week they have no intention to close their polls this primary season.
Following a discussion with West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner, Grant County Clerk Seymour “Bud” Fisher released several changes that voters may see but said, at this time, local voting is still scheduled for May 12 with early voting set to begin on April 29.
Fisher stressed that while the most up-to-date plans are to have the election, that could still change as the state is updated on how best to handle the virus.
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Camp Echo, a county run park that routinely hosts youth camps, including 4-H, will be playing a unique role in the national effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Last week, the county decided to close the park to the public as the cabins were turned into a 9-room quarantine area that can safely house those awaiting coronavirus test results.
Grant County Commissioner Doug Swick, explained the decision was a “just-in case measure” meant to offer peace of mind to those who are showing symptoms and are uncomfortable potentially passing the illness to others.
“Our minds went to those who may be sick and have young children or elderly family members in their household,” Swick explained. “It is one thing for them to come to the hospital for testing, but then they will likely be sent home to await results. For many people, this is ok, but if you live with someone who is particularly endangered by the illness, we want to have another option.”
Swick stressed that the site is intended to be fully optional. The park offers nine partitioned rooms for quarantine and is stocked with food and water as well as offering heating and electricity.
“This is part of our effort to stay vigilant and ahead of the problem,” Swick said. “We would rather have a plan in place we don’t use than to be in a situation that endangers the community.”
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To prevent COVID-19 from spreading further, numerous communities and even entire states across the country have ordered their residents to stay home. West Virginians should already be taking such common-sense steps as limiting non-essential travel and maintaining social distancing. West Virginia residents should therefore be prepared to follow the rules of a “Stay-at-Home” order if one is issued for the state or the nation.
To ready West Virginians, it is important to know:
- • A Stay-at-Home order is not martial law
- • A Stay-at-Home order is not a lockdown
- • A Stay-at-Home order does not close West Virginia roads, bridges or borders
- • A Stay-at-Home order does not prevent West Virginians from leaving the state
- • A Stay-at-Home order does not prevent West Virginians from returning from out-of-state
Questions and Answers about a “Stay-at-Home” order:
Q: What would a Stay-at-Home order require me to do?
A: A Stay-at-Home order would require West Virginians to remain in their homes and residences and leave only for essential services. It would be mandatory, and not merely guidance or advice.
Q: When could I leave my home? What is an “essential service?”
Essential services include going to the grocery store or gas station; picking up a prescription or receiving medical care; and getting outdoor exercise for yourself, your children and your pets. They also include working jobs to provide essential services.
Q: What would remain open as an “essential service?’
A: Businesses and services that would remain open fall under several categories. For all of these, including outdoor areas, the six-foot social distancing guideline would apply.
- o Grocery stores
- o Convenience stores
- o Take-out and delivery restaurants
- o Farmers markets
- o Food bank and food pantries
- o Take-out and delivery meal services, including school-based
- • Health care
- o Hospitals
- o Clinics
- o Doctor’s offices and other health care provider facilities
- o Pharmacies
- • Public Safety
- o Police stations
- o Fire stations
- o Ambulance services
- • Transportation
- o Gas stations
- o Public transit
- • Other
- o Banks
- o Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry services
- o Outdoor public spaces including parks and trails not specifically closed by prior orders.
Q: What jobs would be considered essential?
A: Jobs providing the services outlined above would be considered essential. Other essential jobs would include:
- • Manufacturing or delivering materials and products needed for essential services
- • Essential government services (local, state, and county)
- o Programs and services that support essential operations and functions
- o Hotlines or helplines, including for Medicaid, SNAP benefits, etc.
- • Other critical infrastructure
- o Public utilities and related infrastructure, including home and commercial electrical and plumbing systems
- o Communications infrastructure and services, including media
- o Garbage/sanitation
Q: What would be closed as non-essential?
A: Businesses and workplaces that do not fall under the above categories or are otherwise designated as essential would be closed. Those already closed by Executive Order include:
- • Dine-in restaurants
- • Bars and nightclubs
- • Entertainment venues including casinos and performance halls
- • Barber shops and hair and nail salons
- • Gyms and fitness centers
Q: What about working from home?
A: Working from home would be encouraged wherever possible.
Q: What if I’m told to report to a job that is non-essential?
A: If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you should discuss that with your employer.
Q: How would a Stay-at-Home order be enforced?
A: Law enforcement officials would not stop residents on their way to or from work or from obtaining essential services as outlined above, including recreation. People gathering in any size group would be asked to social distance or go home. The West Virginia National Guard would not be involved in enforcing any Stay-at-Home order.
Q: How would a Stay-at-Home order affect travel and transportation?
A: West Virginia should drive themselves when possible or walk. Public transportation and ridesharing would be for essential travel only. The same goes for air travel. Roads, bridges and borders would remain open.
Q: Would I still be allowed to visit family and friends?
A: Visits to other homes and residences would be limited to caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable persons. In such circumstances, visitors should minimize interactions as much as possible.
Q: What help would there be for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
A: Services for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities would be considered essential and continue under a Stay-at-Home order. The Bureau for Medical Services could provide additional information: (304) 558-1700.
Q: What if my home is not a safe environment?
A: Anyone who would not be safe in their residence while under a Stay-at-Home order should consider planning now to find an alternative safe place. The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence can help. Visit http://wvcadv.org or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233).
Q: What about people who are homeless?
A: State, county and local government agencies and officials will partner with W.Va. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and other community organizations to ensure safe shelter for our homeless population.
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STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9-20
By the Governor
WHEREAS, a State of Emergency was declared on the Sixteenth Day of March, Two Thousand Twenty for all counties in West Virginia (the "State of Emergency Declaration"), to allow agencies to coordinate and create necessary measures to prepare for and respond to the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus now known as COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 15, Article 5, Section 6 of the Code of West Virginia authorizes the Governor to, among other things, control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area or an area where large-scale threat exists, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2-20, Executive Order 3-20, Executive Order 6-20, and Executive Order 8-20 have ordered closed or otherwise limited occupancy of businesses and establishments such as casinos, restaurants, bars, fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, barber shops, nail salons, hair salons, state park lodges, and the Hatfield McCoy Trail, all to protect public health, safety, and welfare; and
WHEREAS, further measures are necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, to disrupt the spread of the virus, and to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including the closure of additional businesses and facilities throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources have recommend the public practice of social distancing, meaning staying home whenever possible and otherwise maintaining a six feet distance from other individuals, to minimize the transmission of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, locations where people congregate unnecessarily and/or fail to follow adequate social distancing practices are therefore areas of large-scale threat and emergency; and
WHEREAS, businesses that are to remain open will need to reduce their operations to continue with minimum contact with members of the public and only essential employees, and must require proper social distancing at all times; and
WHEREAS, these measures relating to the closure of certain businesses and to limit the operation of non-essential businesses are necessary because of the propensity of the COVID-19 virus to spread via personal interactions and because of physical contamination of property due to its ability to remain on surfaces for prolonged periods of time; and
WHEREAS, it is the duty of every West Virginian to practice proper social distancing and to comply with these measures in order to protect our people, our families, and each other, against this terrible epidemic.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIM JUSTICE, pursuant to the authority vested in me pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15, Article 5, Section 6 and Chapter 15, Article 5, Section 1 of the Code of West Virginia, hereby DECLARE and ORDER, effective as of 8:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, on the Twenty-fourth day of March, Two Thousand Twenty, as follows:
1. Stay at home or your place of residence. To preserve public health and safety, and to ensure the healthcare system in West Virginia is capable of serving all citizens in need, especially those at high risk and vulnerable to COVID-19, all individuals within the State of West Virginia are under a general stay-at-home order and are directed to stay at homeor their place of residence unless performing an essential activity. An activity is essential if the purpose of the activity is one of the following:
a. Obtaining food, medicine, and other similar goods necessary for the individual or a family member of the individual.
b. Obtaining non-elective medical care and treatment and other similar vital services for an individual or a family member of the individual.
c. Going to and from an individual's workplace if such workplace and/or work is included in the definition of Essential Businesses and Operations as outlined in Section 3, below.
d. Going to and from the home of a family member.
e. Going to and from the home of another individual who, under the terms of a parenting plan or similar agreement, is entitled to visitation with or the care of a child.
f. Going to and from an individual's place of worship.
g. Engaging in outdoor activity, provided that individuals at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of six feet from one another and abide by a 10-person limitation on gathering size.
2. Non-essential businesses and operations must temporarily cease operations. In addition to those businesses directed to close or limit occupancy pursuant to previous executive orders, all businesses and operations in West Virginia, except Essential Businesses and Operations as defined below, are required to cease all activities within the state except for such minimum basic operations as are necessary to maintain the value of the business's inventory, preserve the condition of the business's physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions, and the minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences. Businesses such as home-based businesses may continue to operate, so long as any employees or contractors of such businesses perform activities from their own residences. Further, small businesses that do not invite in the general public and which have five or less employees in the office may continue to operate, but must ensure that proper social distancing and hygiene practices are maintained.
3. Essential businesses and operations shall continue to operate. Essential Businesses and Operations, as described below, shall remain open, and individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or to perform any work necessary to offer, provision, supply, operate, maintain, and/or repair Essential Businesses and Operations. The term "Essential Businesses and Operations" includes those industries and workers described in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's March 19, 2020, Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response and its "Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response" attached thereto (the "CISA Guidance"). In addition to those industries and workers identified in the CISA Guidance, the following industries, businesses, and/or workers employed in such industries and businesses are specifically included as Essential Businesses and Operations under this Order:
a. Healthcare, public health operations, and health insurance companies. Healthcare, public health operations, and healthcare insurance companies include without limitation hospitals, clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, public health entities, including those that compile, model, analyze, and communicate public health information, pharmaceutical, pharmacy, medical device and equipment, and biotechnology companies (including operations, research and development, manufacture, and supply chain), managed care organizations and related entities and attendant or related services, Medicaid providers, healthcare insurers, organizations collecting blood, platelets, plasma, and other necessary materials (including organizations hosting blood drives, provided that appropriate precautions are taken, including proper social distancing and hygiene measures during any such drive), obstetricians and gynecologists, eye care centers, including those that sell or provide glasses and contact lenses, home healthcare providers, mental health and substance use providers, other healthcare facilities and suppliers and providers of any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, and entities that transport and dispose of medical materials and remains. This includes manufacturers, technicians, logistics, and warehouse operators and distributors of medical equipment, personal protective equipment, medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products. This category of industry shall be construed very broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. Healthcare and public health operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities limited or closed under previous executive order.
b. Grocery stores and pharmacies. Grocery stores, pharmacies, farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, prepared food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products}, specifically including their supply chain and administrative support operations. This includes stores that sell groceries, medicine, including over-the-counter medication not requiring a medical prescription, and also those that sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and Essential Businesses and Operations.
c. Food, beverage, and agriculture. Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing, and cultivation, including farming, livestock, seed and feed stores, fishing, baking, and other production agriculture, including cultivation, marketing, production, and distribution of animals and goods for consumption, and businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities oflife for animals, including animal shelters, rescues, shelters, kennels, and adoption facilities. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food and/or drinks, but only for consumption off premises, through such means as take-away, delivery, or drive-through/drive in. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up or take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site due to the virus's propensity to physically impact surfaces and personal property.
d. Essential governmental functions. For purposes of this Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, jurors and grand jurors, law enforcement and corrections personnel, hazardous materials responders, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military, and other governmental employees working for or to support Essential Businesses and Operations, and all state governmental employees deemed essential employees by their respective agency head, are categorically exempt from this Order. Essential government functions means all services provided by the State or any municipality, township, county, political subdivision, board, commission, or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing such essential government functions. Each government body shall determine its essential government functions and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions. This Order does not apply to the United States government. Nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing essential government functions.
e. Human services organizations and childcare facilities and providers. Human services operations includes without limitation long-term care facilities, day care centers, day care homes, group day care homes, residential settings and shelters for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, transitional facilities, home-based settings to provide services to individuals with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, seniors, adults, and children, field offices that provide and help determine eligibility for basic needs including food, cash assistance, medical coverage, child care, vocational services, rehabilitation services, development centers, adoption agencies, businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals, individuals with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, or otherwise needy individuals, and child care centers, day care centers, and those engaged in caretaking for children.
f. Essential infrastructure. Businesses, entities, or workers engaged in food production, distribution, fulfillment centers, storage facilities, preparation, and sale, construction (including without limitation construction required in response to this public health emergency, hospital construction, construction of long-term care facilities, public works construction, school construction, essential business construction, and housing construction), business management and maintenance, airport operations, operation, maintenance, and supply of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas, electrical (including power generation, distribution, and production of raw materials including without limitation coal and oil and natural gas), distribution centers, oil and biofuel refining, roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation, cyber and other security operations and services, flood control, solid waste and recycling collection and removal, and internet, video, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services) and telecommunications workers. Essential infrastructure shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to essential infrastructure, broadly defined.
g. Coal mining and coal-fired electric generation facilities. Coal mining and coalfired electric generation facilities, as well as all ancillary and support functions ranging from transportation, maintenance, equipment, and supply vendors.
h. Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries. Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, iron ore, steel and steel products, aluminum and aluminum products, petroleum, propane, and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other Essential Businesses and Operations including without limitation filters and filtration products and services.
i. Transportation and travel related businesses and gas stations. Travel related businesses facilitating access to or provision of essential activities or any Essential Businesses and Operations, including without limitation airlines, taxis, transportation network providers (such as Uber and Lyft), vehicle rental services, paratransit, and other private, public, and commercial transportation and logistics providers, travel or transport of agricultural products, foodstuffs, or related items, or other governmental travel needs, and gas stations and automobile dealers and other suppliers, auto repair, farm equipment, construction equipment, and related facilities and related facilities.
j. Financial and insurance institutions. Banks and banking services including without limitation A TM services, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, professional debt collectors and related creditor service workers, workers engaged in payment clearing and settlement, wholesale funding, and capital markets activities, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, institutions selling financial products, insurance companies, underwriters, agents, brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services.
k. Hardware and supply stores. Hardware and supply stores and businesses that sell construction, electrical, plumbing, and heating materials.
I. Critical trades. Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen, and other trades including without limitation plumbers, electricians, exterminators, filtration technicians, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HV AC engineers, painting, moving, and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, essential activities, and Essential Businesses and Operations.
m. Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services. Post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, goods, vehicles, or services to end users or through commercial channels.
n. Religious entities. Religious facilities, entities, and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals; provided that such gatherings should still practice proper social distancing of six feet between persons to the greatest extent possible.
o. Educational institutions. Educational institutions including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions including providing for the delivery or pick-up of food for school age children; provided that proper social distancing of six feet between persons is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
p. Laundry services. Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers.
q. Supplies to work from home. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply products needed for people to work from home, including IT and telecommunications services and product companies.
r. Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support of materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances, IT and telecommunications equipment, cybersecurity software or services, hardware, paint, flat glass, electrical, plumbing, and heating material, sanitary equipment, personal hygiene products, food, food additives, ingredients, and components, medical and orthopedic equipment, optics and photography equipment, diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergents, tent and other temporary structure suppliers, and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers.
s. Home-based care and services. Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child's home to provide care, and other in-home services including meal delivery.
t. Residential facilities and shelters. Residential facilities and shelters for adults, seniors, children, pets, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness.
u. Professional services. Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services).
v. Media and first amendment protected speech. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.
w. Hotels and motels. Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food delivery.
x. Funeral services. Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery, and related services; provided that proper social distancing of six feet between persons is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
4. Prohibited activities. All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to locations with amusement rides, carnivals, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, pool halls, bingo halls, malls ( except where stores in a mall that have a direct outdoor entrance and exit that provide essential services and products under the terms of this Order), children's play centers, playgrounds, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, adult entertainment venues, racetracks, social clubs, and other similar businesses shall be closed.
5. Avoid social gatherings. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order. Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence.
6. Intent of this Order. The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to perform essential activities, or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times and as much as reasonably possible properly socially distance themselves from others. All provisions of this Order should be interpreted and implemented to effectuate this intent.
7. Enforcement. This Order may be enforced by State and local law enforcement and by state and local regulatory and/or licensing bodies to the extent possible under West Virginia law.
8. Duration. The provisions of this Order, and all previous executive orders relating to COVID-19, are effective until terminated by subsequent executive order.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia to be affixed.
DONE at the Capitol in the City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, this Twenty-third day of March, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twenty in the One Hundred Fifty-seventh year of the State.
Mac Warner-Secretary of State
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March 24, 2020 Grant County Public Information
By Sandria Glasscock, RN
Public Information Officer
As of March 23, 2020, WV reported: 22 positive cases of COVID19
610 total negative 0 total deaths 0 tests pending
Counties with positive COVID19 cases:
Harrison 2, Marshall 2, Jackson 1, Kanawha 4, Mercer 2, Jefferson 3, Tucker 2 and Putman 1. Monongalia 5.
1 of those in Monongalia County was in a Nursing Home, and the first one in WV not associated with travel outside the state but was community acquired.
Governor Justice has ordered a Stay-at-Home order requiring all West Virginians to remain in their homes and residences and leave only for essential services. This is mandatory, not just guidance or advice and will be in effect at 8 pm Tuesday March 24, 2020.
Essential Services include necessary trips to the grocery store or gas station; picking up a prescription or receiving medical care; getting outdoor exercise for yourself, your children and your pets. They also include working jobs to provide essential services.
The Governor’s full order can be viewed at www.governor.wv.gov.
If you must go out for essential services, you must keep at least 6 -8 feet away from others even if groups of 10 or less. Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching any surfaces if in public.
If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath AND have travelled anywhere with a reported COVID-19 infection within the last 14 days, please do NOT leave your home, call Grant Memorial Hospital (304) 257 1026 and press 5 to speak to an ER nurse to help determine if testing is indicated.
Grant Memorial has tested for the tri-county area, and to date we have NO Positive cases.
To get up to date information about COVID 19 go to www.cdc.gov or if questions call the WV Public Health hotline at 800 887 4304.
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On Tuesday, a Grant County woman admitted to distributing methamphetamine by mixing the drug into wax and making candles with the substance.
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County issues recommendation for churches to suspend services for two weeks
Late last week, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice held a press conference to announce that the state’s schools would be closing amid rising concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. While West Virginia remains the last state in America without a confirmed case, leaders are following federal efforts to reduce crowd gatherings in an attempt to lessen the spread of the virus. In the U.S. there have been nearly 4,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 70 deaths. Globally, the virus has infected more than 171,000 people with 6,650 cases resulting in death.
While Justice acknowledged the state has no confirmed coronavirus cases, this is unlikely to remain the situation for long.
“We know it’s here,” the governor said. “I mean, let’s be real, it has to be here — we just haven’t found it yet, but it’s got to be here.”
The effort to reduce the virus’ spread has resulted in multiple entities closing their doors or canceling certain services. On a national level, this has included a travel ban to most outside countries and the declaration of a national emergency.
On a state level, West Virginia has now closed their schools until at least March 27 and is encouraging citizens to avoid crowd gatherings. However, many Grant County entities have also taken measures to ensure the safety of local residents.
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FreedomWorks LLC vowed last week to pull their permit application from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), effectively putting an end to the proposed Ulysses Pump Storage Hydropower Project in Grant County.
A public forum was held on the project at the Grant County Courthouse with more than 40 people signing up to speak. Each speaker was allotted three minutes to express their opinion; however, many people instead gave their allotted time to key representatives from the affected areas, with individual speakers remaining at the podium for upwards of 20 minutes.
The potential project was brought before the commission earlier this year by Tim Williamson, the owner of FreedomWorks. Williamson, a West Virginia native, who runs the company in Harpers Ferry, said this would be the largest hydro storage project in the world. The project would have consisted of an upper reservoir in the Bismarck area and a lower reservoir in the Greenland Gap area. Overall, the surface area of both reservoirs will span 2,181 acres with seven miles of tunnels and provide four gigawatts of power, making a uniquely large source of green energy on the East Coast.