CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice extended the state's tax filing deadline during a Wednesday press conference, along with pushing back the projected date for students to return to school.
In light of the worsening situation, Justice said, he instructed the state tax commissioner to extend the filing deadline to July 15, in keeping with the updated federal deadline. Justice also waived interest and penalties on property tax filings until May 1.
Additionally, schools will be closed until April 20. The selected date, he said, accommodates scheduled breaks and eases some burden on families for making necessary arrangements for their children. Previously, state public schools had been slated to reopen on Monday.
While Justice said he's very hopeful that students will be able to return to school at some point in time this year, “we’re not there right now by any stretch of the imagination.”
“Keep saying many prayers. Today was a great day, but we need those prayers for the people in the nursing home. We need the prayers for the state in every way, form and fashion.”
The governor's appearance during the conference was brief, as at the top of the conference he said he had to hurry elsewhere to continue dealing with the disease's spread. Earlier in the day, he'd convened a virtual statewide day of prayer, which he called "really, really significant" for getting through the ongoing crisis.
The confirmed amount of COVID-19 cases in the state had risen to 52 as of Wednesday evening.
Per The Associated Press, Sundale nursing home in Morgantown has at least 20 cases.
No deaths in the state have been attributed to COVID-19.
Follow staff writer Lindsay Renner-Wood on Twitter @LindsayRenWood.