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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

809 negative results from Randolph testing

ELKINS — Officials announced Tuesday that 809 results have returned negative of the 811 people who were tested for COVID-19 Saturday in a pair of free events in Randolph County. “The two additional specimens were returned to the state lab due to labeling errors, but the health ...

Fair cancellation will have impact on fundraising

PHILIPPI — The postponement of the 45th Barbour County Fair until 2021 may result in a lack of funding for some organizations in the county. “I know groups rely on the income they bring in. It is a lot of these groups’ biggest fundraiser for them,” Barbour County Commissioner ...

Pandemic bringing tax revenue down

CHARLESTON — For the second consecutive month, West Virginia tax collections came in below estimates, prompting calls for a special session to move money to keep the state from ending the fiscal year with a deficit. According to the State Auditor, tax collections for the state General ...

AB hosts first-ever virtual commencement

PHILIPPI — Alderson Broaddus University hosted the University’s first-ever virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 30, at 1 p.m. Alderson Broaddus recognized 125 members of the Class of 2020 across the world, receiving associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. For a ...

Understanding community spread of COVID-19

ELKINS — As additional cases of the coronavirus are identified in Randolph County, Davis Medical Center is receiving questions about virus spread in the community. Davis Health System Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua, DO, FAAFP, FMNM, CPE, explains community spread and steps residents ...

Tire Amnesty Day in Upshur County canceled

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Solid Waste Authority & West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection REAP Tire Amnesty Day scheduled for Saturday at the Buckhannon Transfer Station has been canceled. According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s ...

Barbour County Fair postponed until 2021

PHILIPPI — Officials announced Monday that the 45th Barbour County Fair will be postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came in the form of a letter posted on the Barbour County Fair Facebook page Monday evening. “The Barbour County Fair Board, in ...

All HCC results in; 118 inmates positive

ELKINS — All the COVID-19 test results for Huttonsville Correctional Center have been returned, with 118 inmates testing positive for coronavirus, Gov. Jim Justice said Monday during a press briefing. “We’ve ran to the fire again,” Justice said. “We hope and pray that every one of ...

More than 800 tested Saturday for COVID-19

ELKINS — More than 800 Randolph County residents were tested, free of charge, for COVID-19 on Saturday at Davis Medical Center and the Mill Creek location of Valley Health Care. During their weekly COVID-19 update conference call Monday, the Randolph County Office of Emergency ...

Local store offering mask-making supplies during pandemic

CHARLESTON — Throughout the Mountain State, many crafters — both newcomers and experts at sewing — have stepped up to help fill gaps in the state and national supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) by making reusable fabric masks for healthcare personnel and other essential ...

Officials: Free testing events successful

ELKINS — On Saturday, the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department (REHD) collected more than 800 COVID-19 tests at two drive-thru locations in Elkins and Mill Creek. The test swabs were transported to LabCorp, a state designated laboratory for analysis. “We expect to begin calling ...

Elkins Municipal Court announces virus precautions

ELKINS — Elkins Municipal Court announced COVID-19 precautions that are effective immediately at all hearings, city officials said Monday. These precautions, which are based on an order issued by the West Virginia Supreme Court (WVSC), include requiring all parties in the courtroom to wear ...

Reopening: States prep for summer

Editor’s note: Much of the nation has been shut down over the past two-plus months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now the economy is reopening, and businesses of all types are quickly ramping up for what they hope will be a busy summer season that will return them to some sense of ...

Elkins businesses adapting to changes

ELKINS — Small businesses in Elkins and all over West Virginia have been reopening their doors to the public with certain guidelines in place that prioritize public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robbie Morris, executive director of the Randolph County Development ...

W.Va. construction industry trying to work through the coronavirus

CHARLESTON — Planning is key in the construction industry — but there wasn’t a blueprint for handling the impact of the coronavirus. On March 24, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued the statewide Stay-at-Home order. Justice deemed construction as one of the select ...

Bad Plan

Of all the chintzy things to do, federal officials’ plan for West Virginia National Guard members takes the prize. Gov. Jim Justice is right to be livid about it. The rest of us in the Mountain State should be furious, too. Nearly 700 men and women of the National Guard have been working ...

Providing education during a crisis

School systems all over the country are struggling to find safe and reliable ways to begin school this coming fall. Forced school closures in March denied students and teachers three months of instructional time. The Covid-19 Crisis has forced us to recognize that equal opportunity to education ...

HCC positive cases continue to rise

HUTTONSVILLE — The number of positive cases among the inmates at Huttonsville Correctional Facility climbed again on Friday, as Gov. Jim Justice announced five new cases, bringing the total to 116, and stressed free COVID-19 testing will be offered in Randolph County today to help ...