States relax more COVID-19 regulations

Published: May. 19, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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Governor Jim Justice issued an executive order Tuesday, lifting the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state residents entering West Virginia.

He issued that order back in March, out of concern over residents of states harder hit by the coronavirus outbreak coming to the Mountain State.

A day after the announcement a state corrections officer tested positive, the governor said an inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center tested positive as well. The governor ordered testing of all the inmates there.

The two cases are not believed to be connected.

And state health officials announced acquisition of a new drug aimed at treating at-risk patients critically ill with the virus. That, as they emphasize they're not sure how effective it is.

"While there's a lot to learn yet about the effectiveness of remdesevir," said Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp, "it is good to have one more tool in our toolbox to treat seriously ill patients. We wanted to make sure facilities and providers are aware of the protocol and the product."

Governor Mike DeWine, meanwhile, says the "stay at home" orders issued Ohioans at the start of the pandemic are now modified to "strong recommendations".

He adds, however, residents should continue practicing social distancing, sanitation and other protective measures.

"Any Ohioan should take protective action because they could unknowingly pass this virus on to one of their fellow citizens," DeWine said at his briefing Tuesday. "All individuals in Ohio are advised to take precautions to limit the spread of this disease."

There's been increasing discussion about the Ro factor: the rate by which people with the virus infect others.

West Virginia's rate is less than one infection per person, while Ohio's has fallen from two to one to one to one.

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