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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

Legal Action

COVID-19 already has killed some businesses in West Virginia. Forced to close when state restrictions designed to keep the disease from spreading were put in place, they simply could not stand months of paying fixed costs without earning any revenue. Even federal assistance, helping keep some ...

Council to vote on adopting temporary rules

ELKINS — Elkins City Council will gather for its first in-person City Hall meeting in months tonight and vote on adopting temporary rules that put requirements in place for attending in-person city meetings, and also state how following those requirements will be enforced. Council will ...

B-U Homecoming Parade moving out of city limits

HODGESVILLE — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Homecoming Parade is moving out of the city limits and may be concentrated in the area before and leading up to the high school on Route 20. Student council advisor Michael Wilson told Upshur County Board of Education members Tuesday night ...

Justice to look into adding school virus cases into dashboard

CHARLESTON — The state makes COVID-19 infection data available for deaths, hospitalizations, long-term care facilities, and correctional facilities, but some are wondering why neither the Department of Education or the Department of Health and Human Resources makes data publicly ...

United Way to offer virtual 5K race, fundraising event

ELKINS — The United Way of Randolph County is offering a unique fundraising event — a virtual 5K race. The agency’s first annual 5K Turkey Trot Run/Walk will take place from Friday, Nov. 20 through Saturday, Nov. 28. With everyone’s safety in mind, the race will be different ...

St. Joseph’s team tackles COVID-19

BUCKHANNON — St. Joseph’s Hospital is celebrating Environmental Services Week (EVSW) Sept. 13-19. Held every year during the second week in September, EVSW is a week dedicated to recognizing the efforts of hard-working environmental service professionals. These staff members ensure ...

Local agencies preparing for potential cases

ELKINS — The number of active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County has grown to nine, a Randolph-Elkins Health Department spokesperson said Monday. Bonnie Woodrum, infectious disease specialist for the REHD, said Monday her agency is currently following 80 contacts having to do with the ...

Positive tests still up statewide

CHARLESTON — The number of infections caused by the novel coronavirus continues its upward climb in West Virginia, but some indicators show the virus might be slowing down. Gov. Jim Justice and state officials gave a COVID-19 briefing Monday at the State Capitol Building. “This is a ...

Manchin, Capito announce $824K funding for school safety measures

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced $824,774 from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) for safety measures in Grant, ...

You can’t please everyone

Until recently, there hasn’t been any polling released in the race for Republican Gov. Jim Justice and Democratic Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango. So far, all we have is an internal poll paid for by the Justice campaign and conducted by Mark Blankenship, a long-time Republican ...

Parents upset about student quarantines

ELKINS — Parents are complaining about some students being quarantined after a Randolph County Schools bus driver tested positive for COVID-19. Last week, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department confirmed that two RCS employees had tested positive, resulting in several students being ...

State ramps up aggressive testing efforts

CHARLESTON — To encourage more West Virginia residents to get tested for the novel coronavirus and reduce positivity rates in counties, Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday multiple testing opportunities in gold, orange and red counties. “Any county that is in orange, red or gold, we really ...

Businesses, parents file suit over Justice’s executive orders

CHARLESTON — Even though Ohio County is in the gold on the County Alert System color-coded map, a group of local businesses and two unidentified parents are seeing red when it comes to Gov. Jim Justice’s executive orders. According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the ...

Staffing to return to normal at Upshur County Courthouse

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Courthouse will resume regular staffing levels Monday following a vote by the Upshur County Commission Thursday morning. The meeting, which the media and public were encouraged to join by teleconference instead of in-person for the second week in a row, was ...

Parent challenges school re-entry plan

CHARLESTON - A request for a preliminary injunction was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court this week to block enforcement of Gov. Jim Justice’s executive orders for school re-entry and his color-coded school re-entry map. Kanawha County resident Alex McLaughlin, a parent, filed for the ...

Actions match words

Small colleges frequently claim to offer students a personalized and individualized educational experience. Davis & Elkins College is tangibly demonstrating our actions match our words. Among the many tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the cancellation of graduation ceremonies. ...

B-UHS moves Homecoming

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon-Upshur High School has moved its Homecoming Week to Oct. 19-24 after the late start to school. Student council advisor Michael Wilson and student Hank Phillips updated the Upshur County Board of Education on COVID-19 plans and asked for direction on how to ...

Will third time be the charm?

Let’s hope the third time really is the charm, because we West Virginians have botched our first two opportunities to emerge from the COVID-19 epidemic. It appears we’re at the crest of the third wave of coronavirus devastation in the Mountain State. We’re not handling it well. For a ...

Justice’s order limits gathering sizes

CHARLESTON - State health and higher education officials unveiled a new way of calculating positive cases in counties that are also home to large college student populations, such as Monongalia County. A new executive order released Tuesday night also tightened gathering restrictions in ...

2 staff cases lead to quarantine of some students

ELKINS — Two Randolph County Schools employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and some students have been quarantined as a result, officials said. “Two employees of the Randolph County school system have tested positive for COVID-19 with the result of quarantine of several school ...