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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

State COVID numbers on the rise again in state

ELKINS — With COVID-19 numbers back on the rise in West Virginia, local health officials are urging residents to take precautions and to get vaccinated if they are eligible to do so. West Virginia had a reported total of 5,214 active coronavirus cases on March 15. After several weeks of ...

Dem lawmakers speak out after Republican delegate COVID-19 infection

CHARLESTON — Democratic leaders of the West Virginia Legislature expressed their frustrations Monday after the revelation that a Republican committee chairman and member of the House of Delegates has COVID-19. Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, and House Minority ...

West Virginia opens up COVID-19 vaccines for all residents age 16 and older

CHARLESTON — As active cases begin to increase again in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday that all residents age 16 and older can now get in line for a COVID-19 vaccine, though focus remains on older residents. “Let’s go, West Virginia, and let’s get everybody in this ...

Elkins seeking input on relief funds

ELKINS — The City of Elkins will be seeking input from both the community and government officials on what to do with the estimated $2.91 million the city is expected to receive from the American Rescue Act. The $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, signed by President Joe Biden last week, is ...

Residents urged to stay alert for vaccination calls

ELKINS — After seeing the active coronavirus case numbers in Randolph County drop to 11 last week, several clusters within the community pushed that number back up to 22 as of Monday. “We had some clusters and we have some school kids in quarantine, but it does not seem to be being passed ...

Justice: More eligible to receive vaccine

CHARLESTON — As part of his regular COVID-19 briefing Monday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that more West Virginians with pre-existing medical conditions and all essential workers regardless of age will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Justice said all residents over the age of 16 ...

Decreases in W.Va. COVID-19 numbers beginning to slow

CHARLESTON — As West Virginia begins the one-year mark today from when Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis of data shows that decreases in cases are continuing at a slower rate. According to data from the Department of Health and Human ...

Manchin: Relief bill will help W.Va.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Municipalities as big as Charleston and as small as Capon Bridge — along with all 55 West Virginia counties — will receive a cut of the $4 billion in direct funding that the American Rescue Plan is sending to the Mountain State. It’s a dollar figure that Sen. Joe ...

Local cities, counties to receive funds

CHARLESTON — Local cities, towns and counties will receive millions in funding through the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday. The following totals came from information distributed during a Zoom conference between Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and members ...

Gov. Justice honors 165 deaths

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice took time Friday to read each of the deaths of 165 West Virginians who died of COVID-19, but were not reported to the state from hospitals, nursing homes and home health. “There are days I have to report to you things that are not very pleasant, but this is ...

Local facilities respond to DHHR list

ELKINS — Several local health facilities have responded to being included in the state Department of Health and Human Resources list, released earlier this week, which claims 165 COVID-19 related deaths had occurred at the facilities on the list but were not properly reported to the ...

Justice: 168 deaths not reported

CHARLESTON — The state of West Virginia is trying to learn why 168 COVID-19 deaths were not reported, officials said Wednesday. Gov. Jim Justice during his pandemic briefing said 168 deaths were unreported to the state and most were in hospitals, hospice groups, long-term care facilities ...

Schools’ staff provides child nutrition

ELKINS — Nearly one year ago, students in Randolph County were sent home from school, not knowing they would not return to a full-time schedule for more than 300 days due to the COVID pandemic. As a team, teachers, administrators and staff employed by Randolph County Schools combined their ...

Manchin praises work on COVID relief bill, criticizes Justice

CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Tuesday the state’s share of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package would benefit West Virginia for years to come. Manchin held a virtual briefing with media Tuesday afternoon to go over the specific details of the proposal presented ...

COVID-19 totals still dropping

ELKINS — As active COVID-19 numbers continue to decline locally and more people get vaccinated in West Virginia, a return to normality might not be as far away as what was once thought, officials said. Randolph County is currently as close to single digits for active cases as it’s been ...

Justice calls for more residents to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccines

CHARLESTON — As West Virginia’s COVID-19 numbers go down and vaccinations go up, Gov. Jim Justice called on more West Virginians Monday to pre-register online for a coronavirus shot. “We still encourage any and every West Virginian…to pre-register,” Justice said. During his ...

W.Va. coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh discusses vaccine efforts

WHEELING — As the tendrils of the COVID-19 pandemic began to wrap themselves tighter around West Virginia, as the number of people in hospitals, on ventilators or had died continued to climb, Gov. Jim Justice and the experts he leaned on to combat the virus had to make vital, ...

Justice eases restrictions, lifts limits

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice announced a new round of easing Friday for COVID-19 restrictions on residents and businesses as coronavirus statistics continue to trend in better directions. Speaking during his Friday morning COVID-19 briefing from the State Capitol Building, Justice said ...

Upshur BOE prepares for school return

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Board of Education voted in a special meeting Monday to finalize school re-entry plans, after the state Department of Education denied the school system’s waiver request last week. Upshur County Schools submitted a waiver to the state on Feb. 24 asking to ...

Beauty shop closes after 20 years

ELKINS — A beauty salon that had been in business for 20 years closed recently, in part due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I really don’t think that a lot of people other than our regular customers know that we are here,” chuckled owner Lisa Runner, of Lisa’s ...