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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

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 ...

Trust the Data

When Dr. Clay Marsh testified Tuesday before a Congressional subcommittee on how West Virginia has been at the front of the nation with getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of residents, one underlying point stood out: The state trusted the data. While other states have struggled in ...

How to legislate normalcy

My Super Bowl has finally arrived, and no, I’m not talking about football. The 2021 legislative session starts Wednesday and I’m simply excited to have 60 days of writing about things other than COVID-19. Little did I know that by the end of last year’s legislative session in March that ...

State officials excited about possible third vaccine option

CHARLESTON – West Virginia officials in charge of COVID-19 response and the state’s successful vaccination effort were pleased to hear about the possibility of a third vaccine option on the horizon. Johnson and Johnson announced Thursday that its Janssen Biotech pharmaceutical division ...

Ramps and Rails Festival canceled

ELKINS — The 2021 Annual Ramps and Rail Festival is the latest event to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to cancel the festival, which has become a tradition in the Elkins Town Square, was based on the uncertainties of COVID-19 and public gatherings in the near future, ...

EHS goes remote due to teachers’ vaccine reactions

ELKINS — Many students and parents were surprised when they learned, via an early morning phone message from Randolph County Schools, that Friday would be a Remote Learning Day at Elkins High School. The phone message stated that classes would be operating remotely due to a staffing ...

Officials discuss impacts of COVID-19 on education

CHARLESTON — Education in the Mountain State was the main discussion, as members of the press and interest groups virtually attended the West Virginia Press Association’s annual Legislative Lookahead this week. A panel made up of Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Sarah Tucker; ...

Barbour County seeking bus drivers

PHILIPPI — The Barbour County Schools system is suffering from a lack of available bus drivers as students have returned to classes this month in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent of Schools Jeff Woofter has acknowledged the problem, making a public appeal for people to ...

Justice: More deliveries of vaccine coming

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the state is expecting more COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from the federal government than the usual amount thanks to President Joe Biden. Justice said he was on a call Tuesday with Biden administration officials and the governors of other states. ...

Capito approves $3B in funds to combat COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Montana), the leaders of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, on Wednesday approved $3 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Funds (DRF) to combat COVID-19. The ...

W.Va. coronavirus czar testifies on Capitol Hill

CHARLESTON — Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia’s coronavirus czar, told a congressional committee Tuesday that the state’s culture of service was one reason why West Virginia has one of the best COVID-19 vaccine rates in the nation. Marsh was among several witnesses Tuesday during a ...

Capito weighs in on stimulus aid

WASHINGTON — The president is unlikely to move away from a $1,400 relief check to individual taxpayers as part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, a West Virginia senator said Tuesday. President Joe Biden has been vocal on the amount to help people impacted by the economic slowdown ...