Gov. Justice secures federal disaster declaration for West Virginia in response to COVID-19 pandemic

CHARLESTON — President Donald J. Trump has granted Gov. Jim Justice’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration for West Virginia, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recover from the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“I want to thank President Trump for quickly approving my request for this disaster declaration,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia has taken extraordinary measures to protect our citizens and keep them safe and healthy and this allows us to take full advantage of federal resources.”

The president on Friday ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts. The declaration makes available funding to the state, and eligible local governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations, for emergency protective measures including direct federal assistance in all areas of West Virginia impacted by COVID-19.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to review the governor’s request for Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation funding.

The president issued a COVID-19 Emergency Declaration on March 13, 2020(FEMA-4350-EM-WV). The Public Assistance funding approved Friday would reimburse for eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic at the direction or guidance of public health officials. 

FEMA has encouraged officials to take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance. FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor named MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III administrator, as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations under the president’s declaration.