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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

Upshur students go to in-person four days a week

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools has submitted a waiver to the state Department of Education asking to have four days of in-person learning per week in the county’s schools, as opposed to the five-days of in-person learning recommended Tuesday by the state Board of Education. Upshur ...

Randolph schools return to full-time March 1

ELKINS — Adhering to guidelines provided by the West Virginia State Board of Education, students in Randolph County will be returning to in-person learning five days per week. The Randolph County Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss schedule options for the month of ...

State BOE: All students to attend five-day weeks

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education approved unanimous decisions Tuesday saying PreK-8 students will return to in-person instruction five days a week and grades 9-12 to attend five days a week in person for counties that are not red. During a press conference Friday, Gov. ...

Chief: Pandemic not slowing drug arrests

BUCKHANNON — While people staying home during the pandemic COVID-19 lowered car wreck reports in 2020 and misdemeanor arrests for the Buckhannon Police Department, a different problem continues to plague society. “The one thing that was consistent, unfortunately for the year, was drug ...

Two vaccination clinics set this week in Elkins

ELKINS — Two COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics are scheduled this week in Randolph County, as the number of active coronavirus cases in the county continues to fall. The first clinic at the Phil Gainer Community Center will be Wednesday and will be last for five hours, running from 8 a.m. ...

W.Va.’s COVID numbers at lowest level since November

CHARLESTON — West Virginia continues to see drops on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to a succussful vaccination effort. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive cases over a 14-day period between Feb. 8 and Feb. 21 was ...

W.Va. eases COVID restrictions

CHARLESTON - Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that COVID-19 regulations and rules for restaurants, bars, businesses, grocery stores, and schools will be eased due to plummeting coronavirus cases and increased vaccinations. Justice said he was issuing a series of executive orders Friday to ...

Vaccine clinic still on despite weather

ELKINS — Despite the concerns of wintry weather conditions throughout the area, today’s COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at the Phil Gainer Community Center will go on as scheduled, officials said. The clinic will take place from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and all the vaccinations will be given ...

Gov. Justice discusses reducing state’s pandemic restrictions

CHARLESTON — The governor may discuss easing pandemic restrictions on schools and businesses Friday, he said during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing. Gov. Jim Justice also announced additional dosages of the vaccines next week and changes to the state coronavirus information dashboard to ...

Thursday’s vaccination clinic still planned

ELKINS — Thursday's COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic at the Phil Gainer Center in Elkins will take place as scheduled. Any person unable to travel to the Vaccination Clinic due to inclement weather will be rescheduled for the next clinic date. "We want to protect the safety of all ...

Bad weather may affect vaccine clinic

ELKINS — With possible hazardous weather conditions threatening the area for the next several days, officials are saying this week’s mass vaccination clinic, slated for Thursday at the Phil Gainer Community Center, may be affected. A winter weather watch is currently in place for Elkins ...

Correctional officer dies from coronavirus

CHARLESTON — State officials have reported the death of a second correctional officer from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Lt. Delmar Dean, 49, died on Saturday, Gov. Jim Justice, said Monday morning during his regular pandemic briefing. Dean is survived by his wife of 15 years and two ...

COVID-19 cases continue to drop in West Virginia

CHARLESTON — Nearly every county in West Virginia is seeing declining active cases of COVID-19 as deaths and hospitalizations continue to drop and more West Virginians get vaccinated. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive cases over a ...

More vaccines coming to W.Va.

CHARLESTON — West Virginia will receive a higher allotment of vaccine through the Federal Pharmacy Program, according to the governor. The state will receive 7,300 doses, higher than the 5,800 announced on Monday through the federal program with Walgreens for older residents and ...

Federal lawsuits tossed challenging W.Va. pandemic executive orders

CHARLESTON — Seemingly closing the books on legal efforts to overturn Gov. Jim Justice’s executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, two federal courts dismissed challenges to the governor’s authority under states of emergency. U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers issued a judgment ...

Canaan Valley a popular destination during pandemic

CANAAN VALLEY — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a local ski resort is having one of its best seasons in the past five years. Unlike the past couple winters in West Virginia when it rained more then it snowed, this winter has seen its fair share of snowfall, and officials at Canaan ...

Capito, Manchin announce $1.6 million for vaccination costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $1,648,653 from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) ...

COVID-19 cases dropping in Randolph

ELKINS — For a fourth consecutive week, Randolph County has shown a decrease in active COVID-19 cases as numbers continue to tumble in the right direction. As of Monday afternoon there were 109 active cases in the county, which is down 38 from last week’s 147. The county had 207 active ...

Vaccination doses coming to W.Va. through program

CHARLESTON — Officials said Monday that West Virginia will get an additional number of COVID-19 for the state’s older population and essential workers through a federal partnership with national pharmacy chain Walgreens. Gov. Jim Justice and James Hoyer, the leader of the governor’s ...

W.Va. coronavirus numbers continue their downward trend

CHARLESTON — Active COVID-19 cases are down in nearly every West Virginia county, with hospitalizations and death numbers continuing their decline even as testing numbers decrease. “We are doing really, really well,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the state coronavirus czar, during Monday’s ...