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W.Va. Ends Mask Mandate For Vaccinated Residents, Extra Unemployment Compensation

Gov. Jim Justice speaks during his Wednesday COVID-19 briefing. (Photo Courtesy of W.Va. Governor’s Office)

CHARLESTON – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice made two major announcements Friday, lifting the face covering mandate for residents who are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 coronavirus, and ending the extra $300 in pandemic unemployment compensation.

Justice was reacting to the recommendations on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control that said people who have been vaccinated can go about without a mask.

“It’s a good day. It’s a great day,” Justice said.

The face covering requirement will remain in effect for those who are not fully vaccinated, Justice said. The governor plans to lift the mandate on June 20 provided about 65 percent of residents receive at least one shot.

Justice said he was signing an executive order modifying the face covering requirement to immediately follow the new CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated residents.

Any business or school can still require a mask, regardless of the executive order or new CDC guideline, the governor said.

“Remember, you do not have a constitutional right not to wear a mask,” Justice said.

Also, Justice said all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation on midnight June 19. Ohio announced Thursday that such compensation would end June 26.

“West Virginians will have access to thousands of jobs right now,” Justice said, “and we need everybody back to work.”

Justice said the state is considering some sort of $500 signing bonus, with buisinesses matching that bonus, for employees who return to work and stay at least 90 days.

Return to theintelligencer.net later today for more on this developing story.

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