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COVID-19 Still Lurking in W.Va.

If you had trouble keeping track of all the executive orders issued by Gov. Jim Justice during the pandemic — 91 of them — you are not alone. But the governor has made an effort to clean all that up, and last week issued a new order that canceled some of the outdated orders while clarifying others.

“These orders were absolutely necessary to keep our people safe, to keep our businesses afloat and to keep us on the right track to beat this virus,” he said.

Justice is correct that we must move forward, though it is essential we do so safely and with a little common sense.

Indoor face mask requirements remain in place, as they should. But some requirements for unemployment benefits are being reinstated.

That is also the right thing to do. We can’t keep our hands tied forever, and as more people get the vaccine, there is reason to think our economy can open up a bit more. Take a look at the governor’s new orders. They are a level-headed approach to continuing to keep West Virginians safe.

But when you go online to do so, take a look at the Department of Health and Human Resources COVID-19 page, too. Friday morning, the site showed 400 new cases received in the last 24 hours, 8 deaths reported in the last 24 hours and 7,324 active cases. And that is with about 530,000 Mountain State residents fully vaccinated — a little more than 30 percent of the population.

Justice’s move is a hopeful and welcomed step, but we’ve got a long way to go.

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