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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed an executive order allowing his state to enter the “Week 4” phase of coronavirus reopening on Thursday, which will include reopening indoor dining at restaurants, malls and outdoor recreation.
Large retail stores, tanning businesses, outdoor recreation rentals and campgrounds will also be reopened.
The new order also rescinds the requirement for out-of-state travelers visiting West Virginia to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.
The governor also outlined the plans for Week 5 reopening, expected to begin after Memorial Day, which will allow bars to open at 50 percent and museums, visitor centers, zoos, spas and massage businesses to open their doors.
At the same time, the Republican governor announced the results of his initiative to test every nursing home patient in the state, the first such policy in the U.S.
In total, 22,598 people at 123 nursing homes were tested, including 8,911 residents and 13,687 staff members. This resulted in the identification of COVID-19 in 28 new facilities. Thirty-one new staff and 11 new residents were identified as COVID-19 positive.
Justice also announced that the first coronavirus case had been identified in the state’s corrections system.
“What we’ll do is, immediately, we’ll test all of the inmates and staff in the block that we found this positive and we’re going to move forward and test all the staff in the entire facility,” Justice said. “As we test the inmates in that block today, if we find we have additional positives, we’ll expand that testing to all of the inmates in the entire facility.
West Virginia has faced 1,490 coronavirus cases and 67 deaths. On Monday, the state saw 10 new cases.