Daily Coronavirus Update - April 17, 2020

" The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." - Abraham Lincoln



Manchin Asks Administration for Rural Healthcare Funding

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) pressed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for increased support for rural healthcare providers in West Virginia in any future COVID-19 emergency funding packages. Senator Manchin has proposed that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) amend the formula used to distribute CARES Act funding because the current formula leaves rural West Virginia behind. 

“Today I explained to Vice President Pence that the current formula being used by HHS to distribute CARES Act funding does not factor in rural and Medicaid patients. This leaves rural healthcare providers across West Virginia without the resources they need to stay afloat and ready to serve their communities as we all do our best to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This is unacceptable. The Vice President expressed a willingness to work with me to remedy this and I am hopeful the formula I have proposed to ensure rural providers get the funding they need will be implemented by HHS before a new round of funding is distributed,” Senator Manchin said. 

The “Manchin formula” would include the following metrics when allocating future HHS funding:

  • A 20 percent Rural Benchmark in the $100 billion provider fund. Without equitable formula guidelines, we believe it will be difficult for the rural providers to access the $100 billion provider grant program.
  • Priority should be granted to facilities that have been significantly affected by COVID-19 preparation. Rural facilities have lost 50 percent to 80 percent of revenue due to the elimination of non-emergency services as they prepare for a COVID-19 surge. Access to funds is critical. If they do not receive relief, most will close by the time the surge hits their rural community.
  • Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for a disproportionally high percentage of Medicare and Medicaid patients.
  • Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for populations with above average senior populations or co-morbidities that are particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 and for populations in areas with limited access to health infrastructure. 


WV Needs Flexibility for State and Local Funding

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led 32 Senators in advocating for state, local, and tribal governments to receive dedicated, flexible funding in the next COVID-19 emergency funding package. While West Virginia has received $625 million for state and local governments to support their COVID-19 pandemic response, state and local governments need more flexible, dedicated funding in the next emergency funding package.

The Senators said in part, “On behalf of our state, local, and tribal governments, it is essential that you include robust, dedicated, and flexible funding to all units of state and local government in the next interim emergency coronavirus package to support their ongoing efforts in the fight against this pandemic. Not only are these public servants on the front line of the immediate response effort, they are also major employers navigating unprecedented declines in revenue just as the need for their services hits an all-time high. We can and we must work together to get this essential funding to our local partners as quickly as possible.”

Read the full letter here.




Charleston, WV –  U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) participated in separate calls with the West Virginia Council of Churches and the National Nurses United West Virginia Nurses to hear their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I heard from nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and the leaders of our faith communities across the state who shared their concerns with me and asked questions about the ongoing pandemic, resources available, and what the federal government is doing to help Americans through this crisis. Our nurses are caring for West Virginians and serving their communities with strength and fortitude. Their job is incredibly hard, and we thank them for their work every day. Members of the faith community are always willing to care for their neighbors, especially in times of need. West Virginians always come together to take care of one another and we must continue to support those on the front lines and those in our state who have been hit hard by this pandemic,” said Senator Manchin.


Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led eight Senators in calling for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to implement emergency standards to protect America’s brave coal miners who continue to power our nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Coal miners are the backbone of this country; they have always risked their lives to provide the power that keeps our lights on and the energy flowing to our homes and businesses. When it comes to the coal industry, the health and safety of our miners must continue to be our top priority. Again, we strongly urge MSHA to immediately issue the emergency standards necessary to protect our nation's miners as we work toward finding solutions to the current public health crisis,” the Senators said in part.

Read the full letter here.


I was always taught that if you can count your blessings, you can share your blessings. It's my privilege to share some inspirational stories from those on the ground who are donating their time and energy to helping their fellow West Virginians. These are just a few of the countless acts of kindness happening in our state every single day. Share your stories or recommend someone to be recognized for being WV Strong by emailing WVSTRONG@manchin.senate.gov.

This year, as we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, we are doing so at a time when many of our unsung, everyday heroes have been thrust onto the frontlines in an unprecedented way. I am proud to take the time to acknowledge that these individuals are the gold thread holding us all together in these uncertain times, and I invite our entire statewide community to do the same. It is vital that public safety communicators are acknowledged for the work they do every day, but especially now. To all of our state’s emergency communication centers -  You are truly West Virginia Strong and I am so very proud and grateful for your professionalism, vigilance, and unparalleled service to the people of West Virginia.

Thank you all and God Bless.


WV 211

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is encouraging West Virginians to utilize the 2-1-1 program operated by United Way of West Virginia. 2-1-1 connects callers with health and human services resources through trained certified specialists. Anyone can call 2-1-1 to learn about specific programs, intake requirements, eligibility, operation hours and more.

“United Way of West Virginia provides an important service to West Virginians by helping users navigate the vast number of resources available to aid with healthcare issues, food shortages, mental health questions and more. This program is more important now than ever as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic and I commend United Way for continuing to serve their fellow West Virginians through this time,” Senator Manchin said.

“United Way’s new 2-1-1 will make information on a wide variety of local support services more accessible across our entire state,” said United Way of Central WV President, Margaret O’Neal. “Whether it’s information for locating a health clinic, finding child care programs, or getting housing assistance, 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember, go-to resource for individuals and families.”

To utilize these resources West Virginians can:

Call 2-1-1
Text your zip code to 898-211
Visit http://www.wv211.org/contact
Call toll-free 1-833-848-9905




Our office is working diligently to bring you the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Click the links below for more information. All information regarding resources and more can be found on Senator Manchin's website


Veterans Assistance

Basic Needs

Business Assistance


Feeling Ill?


Any new or updated information will be posted below.



Where can I get a test? This is a question my office has received since the beginning of this pandemic. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list; there may be more testing sites out there that are added daily.  In order to provide as much reliable information as possible, I am including testing sites that are verified through an official communication or news release.

I will keep this section of my newsletter and my website as up-to-date as possible.  For any organizations or health care organizations who would like their site listed, or who have updates on their hours or requirements, please email me at common_sense@manchin.senate.gov .

It is recommended that you seek testing only when you begin exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Click here to view the screening criteria. To report your symptoms and be directed to one of the available testing sites, contact your primary care doctor or a designated hotline for your area. Most, if not all, sites require a physician's order before testing. If you have gone through these steps and are still having issues getting a test, please email me at common_sense@manchin.senate.gov and a member of my staff will reach out to you to see if we can assist.

Click here for WV DHHR's latest updates to reported COVID-19 cases

Click here to find a testing site near you.

Any new additions or updates will be included below.





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