Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $4.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.

jim justice.jpg

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives an update on the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020.

CHARLESTON — After receiving “a zillion” calls from tanning bed salon owners, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that tanning salons will be permitted to reopen during the fourth phase of his “comeback plan,” which begins May 21.

May 21 will also see openings of in-house dining at restaurants and large specialty retail shops, as well as outdoor recreation rentals.

On Wednesday, Justice urged the businesses still unable to open, such as entertainment venues, to be patient.

“We’re working it,” Justice said. “We’re working as diligently as we possibly can. We’re doing so in absolutely trying to do the obvious — and that is, no question, bring us back from the standpoint of economics and all that, but we’ve got to remember we really need to take baby steps in this.”

Justice also urged West Virginians to continue to take precautions and follow the guidelines of wearing a face covering, washing hands and maintaining physical distance.

“This virus isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “I mean, it’s right here. It could be right on this desk.”

While Justice urged citizens to take the proper measures to protect the elderly, state coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said it is important to protect every family member despite their age.

Marsh said he didn’t want to alarm people, but the virus does have an effect on younger generations. In New York, at least five children have died from an inflammatory disease after being exposed to COVID-19, and more than 100 similar cases have been diagnosed.

Only 18% of West Virginia’s positive cases have been between the ages of newborn and 29, but two 25-year-old people have died.

One new death related to COVID-19 was reported Wednesday, a 70-year-old man from Kanawha County, bringing the state’s total to 59.

There were 26 new positive cases reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,404. As of 5 p.m., there have been 67,110 laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 65,706 negative.

Confirmed cases by county are: Barbour (seven), Berkeley (196), Boone (nine), Braxton (two), Brooke (three), Cabell (52), Clay (two), Fayette (36), Gilmer (eight), Grant (six), Greenbrier (eight), Hampshire (10), Hancock (12), Hardy (23), Harrison (34), Jackson (136), Jefferson (92), Kanawha (188), Lewis (four), Lincoln (five), Logan (14), Marion (46), Marshall (23), Mason (14), McDowell (six), Mercer (12), Mineral (26), Mingo (three), Monongalia (114), Monroe (six), Morgan (17), Nicholas (eight), Ohio (37), Pendleton (five), Pleasants (two), Pocahontas (two), Preston (14), Putnam (29), Raleigh (10), Randolph (five), Ritchie (one), Roane (eight), Summers (one), Taylor (eight), Tucker (four), Tyler (three), Upshur (six), Wayne (93), Wetzel (six), Wirt (three), Wood (44) and Wyoming (one).

In Ohio, one new positive case was identified in Lawrence County after several days of no new cases, according to the Lawrence County Health Department, bringing the total positive cases to 26. All but two of the patients have recovered, and no one has died.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not have a press briefing Wednesday. There were 471 new positive cases reported in the state Wednesday, for a total of 25,721, and 47 new deaths, for a total of 1,483.

In Kentucky, the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department reported one new positive case of COVID-19 — a 23-year-old man who is hospitalized. There have been 38 cases identified in Boyd County, with 26 recovered.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear released a list of 10 rules for businesses to reopen. The rules include telework to the greatest extent possible, onsite temperature checks, universal masks and other protective gear, closing common areas and having special accommodations for vulnerable employees.

There were 227 new positive cases reported in Kentucky on Wednesday, bringing the total to 7,080. Five new deaths were also reported, for a total of 326.

In the U.S., a total of 1,364,061 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 82,246 deaths related to the virus.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck

on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.