West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is directing private campgrounds to prohibit new out-of-state campers to limit the rate of spread of COVID-19 in the Mountain State.
The governor made the announcement on March 31 at the state capitol in Charleston, West Virginia, while also issuing an executive order to suspend all scheduled elective medical procedures.
"We are moving in the right direction," Justice said. "We’re doing the right things to limit the exposure of West Virginians to this virus, and we can’t afford now to have someone come in from out-of-state and infect our residents.”
While rural West Virginia has so far seen only a limited outbreak, its medical system does not have the healthcare resources in place manage a peak pandemic, he said.
“We remain the highest-risk state in the nation," Justice said, "and while statistics show us that the rate of positive tests for COVID-19 in West Virginia is at 3.8 percent—compared to eight to 10 percent across the rest of the country and 30 to 50 percent in New York—we can’t let our guard down.
"If we do, our health care centers will be overrun, and it will be catastrophic: We’ve already lost one too many lives and we should pray we don’t lose another,” he said.
“So I’m going to keep doing everything I possibly can to protect all West Virginians.”