City, County ask for mandatory state-wide stay-in-place

Tonight at 7:00 p.m., Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioners Kent Carper, Henry C. Shores and Ben Salango sent Governor Jim Justice a letter asking that he reconsider his current decision and order a mandatory stay-in-place for the State of West Virginia. During Justice’s 7:00 p.m. announcement on March 21, he said that our power to fight this pandemic is to stay away from one another and limit person-to-person contact. With this in mind, the City and County believe that a state-wide stay-in-place is necessary in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

“Social distancing and staying home have proven to be critical in stopping the spread of this virus. We are respectfully asking Governor Justice to order a mandatory stay-in-place order as so many other states have done,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “Putting this mandate in place would give our first responders and hospitals valuable time to acquire needed equipment before they are potentially overloaded with patients.” 

Currently, one in four Americans are under a stay-in-place order. Health professionals at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department feel that this is a necessary measure that will slow the spread of this highly communicable disease. City and County officials also spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci recommended that the City and County do whatever was necessary to keep our citizens safe. 

"The expected spike in the COVID-19 virus in our area is occurring and time is running out to flatten the curve. We must take action now to help protect our healthcare professionals and first responders,” stated Commission President Kent Carper. 

Commissioner Ben Salango commented, “It was necessary to take this action this evening and request the statewide stay-in-place to continue to protect our citizens. In the meantime, we are encouraging all citizens to continue to follow CDC guidelines and stay safe.” 

Also within the letter, the Mayor and Commissioners asked that Justice’s office advise local boards of health and emergency management operations of any plans to implement before making any public announcement.

For the latest CDC guidelines, visit