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West Virginia to allow some businesses to open next week

Some nonessential businesses in West Virginia will be able to open next week, Gov. Jim Justice (R) said Wednesday. 

The first part of the state’s six-week phased reopening plan begins Thursday, allowing for outpatient health care operations to resume. 

Starting Monday, the second phase of the six-week plan will begin, allowing small businesses with 10 or fewer employees to open. 

Next week’s openings allow restaurants with takeaway service or outdoor dining options to open, as well as religious entities and funeral homes and professional service businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and pet grooming.

“We’re going now to another level,” Justice said in an announcement. “We can’t sit back and not reopen. We can’t sit on our hands and just dwindle away because bad things will happen then as well.

“As we move forward, we can and will move safely. But we need you, West Virginians, to step up again and keep doing what you’ve done to keep everyone as safe as possible,” he added. 

West Virginia will allow additional businesses to reopen as the state progresses through the six-week plan. Justice’s office will announce which businesses will be able to reopen at least one week in advance of its reopening date.

West Virginia’s health department has reported a statewide total of 1,118 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths related to the disease.

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