Senator Joe Manchin is encouraging West Virginians to apply for health insurance coverage during the Affordable Care Act Special Enrollment Period, which closes on August 15th. The American Rescue Plan offers financial assistance that lowers the cost of healthcare coverage premiums by over 25-percent. The average deductible fell from 450-dollars to just 50-dollars.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources is confirming five more COVID-19 deaths, including a 29-year-old man from Mineral County, one of the youngest the state has seen. Active cases of the virus are down to just over 65-hundred. That’s the lowest number since March. More than 46-percent of the state’s overall population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Justice says the federally funded pandemic unemployment benefits are coming to end. WorkForce West Virginia will stop the three-hundred-dollar supplemental unemployment benefit on June 19th. State officials are considering a five-hundred-dollar signing bonus if the business is willing to chip in another five-hundred-dollars to get people back to work.
You don’t have to wear you mask in Walmart anymore. The store is dropping its mask requirement for customers and employees who are fully vaccinated. Walmart says it won’t ask shoppers if they’ve been vaccinated.
Governor Justice is lifting the mask mandate for people who are fully vaccinated. He says the face covering requirement still applies until June 20th to anyone who is not fully vaccinated. New CDC guidance says people who are fully vaccinated can take off their masks outdoors and most indoor settings, unless you’re in a crowded are like a plane of bus.
Mountain Health Arena held its first live concert in more than a year. Travis Tritt performed for a much smaller crowd than usual. Twelve-hundred fans were allowed in the arena that normally holds more than seven-thousand.
Two more people are under arrest in connection to the fatal shooting of a Beckley high school student. Michael Webb and Rashad Brown are charged with accessory after the fact to voluntary manslaughter in the death Dwayne Richardson Jr. The two men are accused of trying to mislead investigators and help Jeriamyah Fortner, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter for recklessly handling an AR-15 and inadvertently shooting Richardson.
A Boone County man is facing charges in connection to an overdose death. Twenty-nine-year-old J.D. Thompson is charged with drug delivery causing death and failure to render aid. He gave the victim a mixture of fentanyl and powdered sugar.
Police are investigating after a man was stabbed on the West Side. It happened in the 700 block of 6th Street. The victim is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. One person is under arrest.
Cabell County Commissioners are sending a letter to the Public Service Commission, opposing rate increases for West Virginia American Water and AEP. Several other counties across the state have voiced their opposition to the proposal because of economic fallout from the pandemic.