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Dear reader,

The last few weeks have been full of uncertainty for many of you in our eight-county distribution region when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus. We have been providing you with daily updates on how we've been covering the crisis here at The Inter-Mountain and the resources we have made available to you have hopefully kept you and your loved ones up-to-date and prepared in the coming weeks....

First of all, as you may or may not know, our office is currently not open to the public and a large portion of our staff is now working from home, with only essential employees at our main office in downtown Elkins. Our reporters will still be out and about covering events and bringing the latest and most important local news to you each day. Just as you are with your families, we are assessing each day on how to best keep our employees safe and healthy so that they can continue to bring you the latest local news on how COVID-19 is affecting and altering our way of life.

Second, we've devoted a large portion of our reporting resources to coverage of the coronavirus and that will continue. Over the past two weeks, for example, we've produced dozens of stories on how the virus is impacting our region. We've looked into and reported on how funerals are being handled now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are requiring Americans to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people; we've talked with local nursing homes about how they are keeping their residents and staff safe, and also adjusting visitation policies so residents can stay in contact with their families. We've spoken with local restaurants on how they're adjusting to life with only delivery or to-go customers; and we've provided a daily list of cancellations and postponements of public events, blood drives and other gatherings so that you can remain informed.

We have many other important local stories planned for the coming days, including looking at how local doctors and nurses are using telehealth techonology to provide services to their patients during the pandemic; how local stores which have been deemed essential businesses are changing their policies to safely serve the public; and how local hospitals are dealing with an increase in patients that may have come in contact with the coronavirus.

To help you sort through all this information, we've also added a section on our website labeled "Following the Coronavirus," (www.theintermountain.com/news/coronavirus/), devoted solely to coverage of COVID-19. This section contains all of the latest local, state, national and international coverage of COVID-19 and how it is reshaping life across the globe. We're continually updating this section so you can remain informed on everything from business closings to new numbers of those testing positive for the virus.

Last, we ask that you and your loved ones stay safe as we collectively go through this challenging time. We will do our part to keep you as up-to-date as possible with local news from a staff that you can trust. Local news matters, now more than ever, and we work each day, in all that we do, to remain your trusted local news source.

Coronavirus

United Way fund helps Randolph EMS buy PPE system

ELKINS — The United Way of Randolph County is helping Randolph County EMS obtain personal protective equipment through the charitable organization’s Relief and Recovery Fund. “The United Way of Randolph County received $4,000 for the Relief and Recovery Fund from Huntington National ...

Justice: Mask penalties may be coming

CHARLESTON — Just days after Gov. Jim Justice signed a mandatory but toothless executive order requiring face masks inside offices and businesses, Justice said penalties for not wearing masks could be coming if coronavirus cases continue to spike. Justice signed an executive order Monday ...

Providing Nutrition

ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College and Randolph County Schools have partnered to feed local children throughout the summer. The partnership, 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Simplified Summer Food Service Program, also addresses the additional challenges stemming from the pandemic. The Summer ...

Elkins offers info on City Hall services

ELKINS — During the current Elkins City Hall closure, the code enforcement and building inspection department remains in operation. Those wishing to submit building permit applications should email them to pisner@cityofelkinswv.com. If you have questions, please call 304-636-1414, ext. ...

Electronic, tire recycling events put on hold

ELKINS — The coronavirus as put a hold on everything, including recycling. The city of Elkins and the Randolph County Sold Waste Authority have been fielding phone calls as to when the electronic and tire recycling events will be held. Clark Martin, Chairman of the Randolph County ...

Elkins City Hall closes after positive test

ELKINS — City officials announced Wednesday evening that Elkins City Hall is closing because a city employee has tested positive for COVID-19. A city press release Wednesday evening stated, “Elkins City Hall will be closed starting Thursday, July 9 because an employee has tested ...

Buckhannon adopts employee COVID-19 testing, mask policy

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon City Council adopted an employee COVID-19 testing and mask policy at its latest meeting. City attorney Tom O’Neill said the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in Upshur County as well as the number of positive tests that are getting closer and closer to ...

Justice delays schools opening to Sept. 8

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education continues to develop reopening guidelines for schools this fall, but officials Wednesday cautioned each school system would be responsible for its own reopening plans. The discussion came even as West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ...

Free testing for COVID-19 set in Upshur

BUCKHANNON — An additional COVID-19 case was announced in Upshur County Tuesday afternoon, making it the 21st case in Upshur County – nine of which are still active. According to a press release from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, many of the nine are nearing the end of the ...

Leaders combat coronavirus spike

After consistently moving toward flattening the curve, positive cases of COVID-19 have been climbing in the last two weeks across several states. Florida had the most dramatic increase of cases, jumping from 3,235 daily new cases per 100,000 people on June 22 to 9,019 daily new cases June 27, ...

Upshur Relay for Life to feature social distancing

BUCKHANNON — When Upshur County Relay for Life members chose “2020: Vision for a Cure” as the theme for the year, officials didn’t envision what would happen a few short months later. Not long after kick-off in February 2020, COVID-19 brought Relay activities to a halt. There were no ...

Randolph officials discuss COVID-19 number discrepancies

ELKINS — Randolph County officials discussed recent discrepancies in COVID-19 statistics reported by the state during Monday’s conference call among county leaders. “As of now, Randolph County has 171 confirmed cases, 154 have recovered or have been released from quarantine,” Cindy ...

Justice orders masks must be worn indoors

CHARLESTON — With coronavirus cases coming in higher the last five days than at any point during the worst of the outbreak, Gov. Jim Justice ordered Monday that masks be worn indoors. Justice, speaking during a coronavirus briefing Monday at the Capitol, said he will sign an executive ...

Cortland residents cherish return of family visitations

THOMAS — Ninety-eight days. That’s how long residents and families at Cortland Acres have gone without visiting with one another due to COVID-19 concerns. Visitation restrictions began March 12, along with a lengthy list of other infection control measures mandated by the CDC and local ...

Manchin, Capito announce $4.4M in virus aid

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $4.4 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to update economic development plans and support programs that help communities respond ...

Churches start holding public services

The inability to attend church each week has been one of the most affecting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to social distancing guidelines, it’s been nearly impossible for congregations around the country to gather in ways they were accustomed to prior to the COVID-19 ...

Changes to annual event announced

SNOWSHOE — The Snowshoe Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children, families, and community organizations in Pocahontas, Randolph, Webster and surrounding counties, has announced several COVID-19-related adjustments to the annual “Treasure On The Mountain” ...

Justice considers face mask mandate

CHARLESTON — As cases of the coronavirus spike across the country and in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday he is seriously considering mandating face masks and covering in buildings. “I am very seriously considering that at the beginning of next week we may very well have ...

Experts: Second round of stimulus checks a possibility

After a round of stimulus checks granted qualifying citizens money to help pay for living expenses and boost the economy, Americans may be wondering if a second round of payments could be on the way as COVID-19 continues to spread. Last week, President Donald Trump told a reporter for ...

W.Va. rest areas open for holiday travelers

CHARLESTON — With travel expected to be busy over the July 4th weekend, the West Virginia Division of Highways is pleased to announce that all rest areas and welcome centers on I-64, I-68, I-77 and I-79 will continue to be open and maintained for those traveling through the Mountain State. ...