WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) tonight released the below statement following the confirmation of the first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in West Virginia:

“Tonight, Governor Justice announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case in West Virginia. I am thinking of the person impacted by this virus and wish them a speedy recovery. I’ve been in touch with Governor Justice, the White House, health officials, and others at the state and federal level consistently—particularly when it comes to raising concerns about our rural hospitals and the need for more testing kits in West Virginia. This is an issue I remain on top of and will continue to monitor as the situation evolves. Recently, Congress passed an emergency supplemental funding package, which means our country is even more prepared to limit the spread of the coronavirus and treat those who have been diagnosed. This week, the Senate will pass a second package, which will provide resources for testing, health supplies, and nutrition assistance, as well as sick leave for workers during this crisis. The Senate is also working on yet another bill that we plan to pass this week that will aid our economy, help our small businesses, and provide assistance to workers and families impacted by this emergency. I will continue working at the federal level, along with Governor Justice and others in the state to make sure we are doing everything in our power to help West Virginians and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”


Senator Capito continues to be focused on this issue, particularly in ensuring the appropriate agencies have the funding they need to mitigate the spread of the virus, test those feeling ill, and treat those infected. As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito has made a point to ask the agencies she funds if they are prepared and ready to combat the coronavirus. Below are more details on Senator Capito’s efforts: 

  • Spoke with West Virginia Hospital Association President and CEO Joe Letnaunchyn and West Virginia Health Care Association CEO Marty Wright.
  • Voted in favor of the emergency supplemental funding package to help states treat, prevent, and prepare for the Coronavirus. A portion of the funding provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is specifically tied to the FY2019 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant awards for states and localities. In West Virginia, this means the state will receive at least $5 million in funding.
  • Attended a senators-only Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee briefing to ask questions directly of leadership from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Spoke with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice about West Virginia’s preparedness and readiness.

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