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May 30, 2020
West Virginia Strong - The Comeback Plan
Earlier this month, Governor Jim Justice announced his plan for reopening the economy. Reopening will not happen suddenly, but with time. We should be able to open in a safe and cautious manner as long as we continue to follow the social distancing guidelines. 

Phase one began on Thursday, April 30th. From there, each phase of the reopening process for Weeks 2-6 will begin on Monday of each subsequent week. Currently, we are in week 5 of the reopening phase. COVID-19 case numbers will continue to be monitored throughout the entire reopening process. 

The STAY-AT-HOME order was lifted on Sunday, May 3rd and a SAFER-AT-HOME was put in place on Monday, May 4th. 

Week 5 businesses that opened on Tuesday:
  • State parks and cabins (WV residents only)
  • Bars (indoor bars at 50% capacity)
  • Museums 
  • Zoos

Businesses that open today:

  • Spas and massage businesses
  • Limited video game lottery
  • Swimming Pools
  • And more, click here for the full list. 
For more information on Governor Justice's plan, click here.


Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act
Earlier this week, the House overwhelming passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. Small businesses across the country are struggling in the face of the pandemic. Thankfully Congress provided a lifeline to small businesses with forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, now that we have more understanding of the economic fallout of this crisis, it is important we adjust the PPP to give small businesses more flexibility to utilize it. 

This bill will provide business owners more flexibility in meeting the loan forgiveness requirements. Small businesses are the heart of our communities and their success is essential to our economic growth.

For more information, click here

First Rocket Launch In Nearly A Decade
NASA and SpaceX are targeting today for a second launch attempt of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, that will carry NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. The launch was scheduled on Wednesday but was canceled due to poor weather conditions. 

This will be the first time Americans launch from U.S. soil since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. The mission goal is to help prove the systems meet NASA’s requirements for certification to carry astronauts to the ISS and back. The launch is taking place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, coverage beings at 11 a.m. and the rocket is scheduled for take off at 3:22 p.m.

For more information on where to watch, click here.

WVU Embarking On Groundbreaking COVID-19 Research

The West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and WVU Medicine and with the Oura Health, have helped address major concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus. The RNI has created a digital platform that can detect COVID-19 related symptoms up to three days before they show up.

One of the obstacles in fighting the virus is that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus before they realize they are infected.

To read more, click here. 

Grant Funding Announced for the Northern Panhandle 
WVU Reynolds Memorial Hospital will receive $417,655 in grant funding for a Black Lung/Coal Miner Clinics Program. Since the closing of neighboring black lung clinics, patients potentially had to travel to the next nearest location. With this funding they can stay within the northern panhandle for treatment.

For more information on services offered, click here. 
 

Small Business Resources
To date, over 14,000 West Virginia small businesses have benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program! Applications are OPEN for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The EIDL loans are only available for small agricultural businesses. Small business owners can visit the SBA website for more information on what programs may be best for your business. 

Who is eligible for PPP? Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, non-profits, sole proprietors, self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. The PPP is a forgivable loan, if an employer maintains its payroll, then the portion of the PPP loan used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven. 

My office is collecting stories from small businesses in West Virginia that have received/benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program. If you are interested in sharing your story, click here!

For more information on PPP, click here
For more information on EIDL, click here.

To share your story of PPP, click here

CDC Recommendations
We encourage everyone to follow the CDC recommendations on how to help protect yourself and others.

Take these steps to protect yourself:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, which the chorus to Country Roads lasts about that long. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in the community. 
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings. 
Take these steps to protect others:
  • Stay home if you are except to receive medical care.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and throw away the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect touched surface areas daily.
For more updated information from the CDC click here.   

West Virginia State Resources

Over one thousand COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in West Virginia as of today. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources established a toll-free hotline for questions from the public and medical providers concerning the pandemic. The department also has a website with the most up-to-date information regarding the confirmed and pending cases. 

Click here for more information. 

                    West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
                                              Toll-Free Hotline 24/7
 
                                                 1- 800 - 887- 4304
 


Other Helpful Links

Economic Direct Payment Filers and Non-filers Information

Economic Direct Payment FAQ

Unemployment Benefits for West Virginians

Assistance for Small Business Owners

Veterans Information on COVID-19

Meal Pick-Up Sites for Children 

Blood Donations



CONTACT INFORMATION

Washington D.C. Office
2239 Rayburn HOB | Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4172 | Fax: (202) 225-7564
Morgantown Office
709 Beechurst Ave., Suite 29
Morgantown, WV 26805
Phone: (304) 284-8506
Fax: (304) 284-8505
Parkersburg Office
408 Market Street
Parkersburg, WV 26101
Phone: (304) 422-5972
Fax: (304) 422-5974
Wheeling Office
Horne Building 1100 Main Street
Suite 101
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: (304) 232-3801
Fax: 304-232-3813

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