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Hatfield-McCoy Trails to reopen

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday that the famous Hatfield-McCoy Trails can reopen later this month as he continues to lift the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

The Republican governor said the all-terrain vehicle trails can open on May 21 after they were closed in late March. He is asking riders to follow social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings when stopped.

“I hope we’ll be celebrating the fact that we’re moving back in southern West Virginia to opening our trails but we’ve got to be really careful,” Justice said.

The third week of Justice’s reopening plan begins Monday with drive-in theaters and physical therapy centers allowed to resume operations. His original strategy called for offices, gyms, restaurants and other businesses to start opening next week but the administration said it slowed its plan and will first observe the state’s virus caseload.

The governor has already let hospitals resume elective procedures and allowed the reopening of small businesses, outdoor dining restaurants and barbershops.

The reopening plan hinges on having the cumulative positive test rate remain under 3% for three days, reversing a previous goal of having cases decline for two weeks. The Justice administration has not explained why the benchmark was eased but health officials have said the state has enough downward trend lines to lift restrictions. Officials have not given clear benchmarks on what kinds of testing capacity and safety equipment inventory they want to have as part of the reopening strategy.

At least 52 people in the state have died from the virus and around 1,300 have tested positive, according to health data.

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