Justice: Fairs and festivals can resume in July

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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Governor Jim Justice announces new guidelines he says will help in the resumption of fairs, festivals and public gatherings.

Several local festivals have already announced postponements of their events until 2021, with many citing uncertainty over state guidelines for mass gatherings.

The governor, at his daily news briefing Thursday, said fairs and festivals may resume July first-under strict guidelines Justice said would be released Friday on the state's corornavirus website.

A link to that site is at the "Hot Button" at

Justice also announced Thursday public gatherings will, as of Friday, be limited to 100 people-relaxing the order restricting gatherings to 25 people.

Another announcement is the creation of an interactive map-also at the coronavirus website-designed to help people in need, including senior citizens, located services and assistance.

"I want to make sure that all West Virginians who need help with food have access to it," Justice said Thursday. "So I have directed my team to create an interactive map to help West Virginians find areas they can seek help."

In addition to that interactive map, assistance can also be accessed by calling the 211 help line.

The governor faced more questions from reporters Thursday about his comments during Wednesday's briefing about former president Barack Obama.

The Republican governor has drawn criticism for telling reporters that he would welcome all presidents to West Virginia besides Obama.

His office has said the remarks were ``in jest'' regarding the former president's ``War on Coal.''

But Justice, a billionaire coal and agricultural businessman without previous political experience, added additional clarification when asked about the remarks at a news conference Thursday.

He said he is not racist and has black friends.