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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

Deployment extension gets high praise

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s representation in the U.S. Senate praised action Thursday by President Donald Trump to keep the West Virginia National Guard on the frontlines of the coronavirus rapid response in the state. Trump issued the order to extend Title 32 ...

Huttonsville inmate cases rise to 111

HUTTONSVILLE — The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise at Huttonsville Correctional Center, as officials work to isolate inmates and testing begins at other prison facilities throughout the state. The outbreak in the Huttonsville facility is the largest in the state ...

Free COVID testing slated for Saturday

ELKINS — Community COVID-19 testing will be offered Saturday at locations in Elkins and Mill Creek. The tests are free to the public and will not be subject to pre-screening guidelines. Elkins-Randolph County Health Department Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum said the testing ...

102 inmates test positive at HCC

HUTTONSVILLE — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates at Huttonsville Correctional Center rose to 102 Wednesday, as Gov. Jim Justice said testing will expand to correctional facilities across the state. During Justice’s 10:30 a.m. coronavirus briefing he announced 83 ...

Randolph announces 5 more resident cases

ELKINS — Officials announced Wednesday that five more residents in Randolph County have tested positive for COVID-19, aside from Huttonsville Correctional Center. Randolph Elkins Health Department Infectious Disease Nurse Bonnie Woodrum said the latest positive cases were reported ...

Families to benefit from federal program

ELKINS — Families with students in Randolph County and across West Virginia will benefit from a federal program established to support child nutrition needs. Fully funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) cards were introduced ...

Justice, Thrasher spar over lack of debates, ads

CHARLESTON — With the primary election just two weeks away, the campaigns of Gov. Jim Justice and former Commerce Department Secretary Woody Thrasher heated up Tuesday over the issue of debates and over TV ads critical of the state’s release of several inmates over coronavirus ...

City of Elkins announces steps for reopening parks

ELKINS — At a meeting last week, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission announced reopening steps being taken at city parks and recreation facilities. As reopening proceeds, the commission advises all park users to observe recommended precautions for reducing COVID-19 risk, including ...

Upshur schools presenting youth art exhibition

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon residents will finally get a chance to step inside the new Gallery space in the Colonial Theatre for the first event to be held in the new Gallery space. Previously scheduled for opening March 14, during Youth Art Month, the reception was postponed as a result of the ...

Fingers Crossed

It may be that Gov. Jim Justice and his public health advisers spent much of the Memorial Day weekend with their fingers crossed. West Virginians were being tested in our move to recover both economically and socially from the COVID-19 epidemic. Human beings are creatures of habit. For many ...

More inmate cases reported at HCC; 700 results pending

HUTTONSVILLE — A Randolph County official said Tuesday there are now 70 inmate cases of COVID-19 at Huttonsville Correctional Center, after testing was ramped up at the facility on the orders of Gov. Jim Justice. “We had our first cases break out in our correctional facilities,” ...

Justice: Cases coming down after spike in the Eastern Panhandle

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice said Tuesday that everything is under control after a spike in coronavirus cases last week centered on the Eastern Panhandle. “As far as our comeback and our reopening, that seems to be going very very well,” Justice said. “We’re trying to do that while ...

Dem governor candidates navigate new campaign waters

CHARLESTON — The winner of the Democratic primary for governor of West Virginia will not only have to face a Republican opponent in November, but the victor will have to rebuild the state’s economy and deal with the medical crisis started by COVID-19. Five Democratic candidates are on the ...

Elkins City Hall News

ELKINS — Elkins City Hall was closed Monday, in observance of Memorial Day, a day to remember American veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms throughout this nation’s history. There are no council or committee meetings scheduled during this week. Trash normally ...

Buckhannon City Hall, parks slated to open June 1

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon City Council approved a number of measures aimed at slowly opening up city facilities in the coming weeks after their closure in March due to COVID-19. Buckhannon City Hall will reopen to the public June 1 with additional preventive safety measures including the ...

27 inmates, 8 employees positive at HCC

HUTTONSVILLE — The number of positive COVID-19 cases has jumped at Huttonsville Correctional Center among prisoners and staff, officials said Friday afternoon. Gov. Jim Justice ordered testing at the facility this week, which has confirmed 25 additional inmate cases, and that four ...

Justice declines to beef up rules in hotspots

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday declined to strengthen coronavirus restrictions in two eastern panhandle counties where cases spiked this week. The Republican governor said his administration discussed the hot spots in Berkeley and Jefferson counties with local ...

Goff Street Church of Christ meeting place reopening

ELKINS — Goff Street Church of Christ is happy to announce the reopening of its meeting place for Bible classes and worship assemblies. Goff Street, like other places of worship, found itself closed from mid-March until last Sunday because of the pandemic in compliance with the ...

New Test

If state officials manage to avoid a mini-epidemic at the local prison where it has been revealed that six people have tested positive for COVID-19, they will pull off something of a miracle. It is difficult to imagine an environment more friendly to communicable disease than a ...