April 27, 2020




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.

Today’s Better Angel is from down in McDowell County. Chelsey Dobbs is a graduate of River View High School, Bluefield State, and the McDowell Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) who is currently working on the frontlines of the pandemic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. All of our healthcare professionals are to be commended for their efforts every day, but especially for how they’ve stepped up during this crisis. Thank you, Chelsey. Stay safe and healthy and continue your excellent work.





Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) urged U.S. Attorney General (AG) William Barr to immediately halt plans to send new out-of-state inmates from COVID-19 hotspot regions to FCC Hazelton and FCI Gilmer to quarantine. This decision puts West Virginia’s already vulnerable population, our correctional officers and their families at a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The Senator said in part, “Instead, I respectfully request you consider helping West Virginia during this challenging time by utilizing the excess capacity at FCC Hazelton and FCI Gilmer to support efforts already underway to relieve the overcrowding in our state jails and waive the cost of housing those state inmates for the duration of the pandemic. This act of compassion by DOJ and BOP would greatly benefit the people of West Virginia while we continue to fight this terrible virus. By working as a partner with the state to better utilize the excess capacity in these facilities we can join together on a solution to enhance physical distancing in our state jails and slow the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia. Again, I implore you to cease the movement of these new out-of-state inmates to West Virginia and work with the state to bolster ongoing efforts to protect the public, our correctional officers, and the current inmate population.”



Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement about the proposed plan from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to relocate inmates from COVID-19 hotspot regions of the country to West Virginia for quarantine.

“West Virginians have buckled down and closely followed state and federal guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here in the Mountain State, and that’s why I am strongly opposing the transfer of out of state prisoners to West Virginia. During this time of a global pandemic we must take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and this is especially true in our correctional system where the brave men and women who operate these facilities work in close proximity with our prison populations. I am deeply troubled by plans the Bureau of Prisons are considering to transport new inmates from COVID-19 hotspot regions of the country to West Virginia for quarantine. This move puts our already vulnerable population and our correctional officers and their families at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Senator Manchin said.



Charleston, WV – After pressure from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and his bipartisan colleagues, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced their decision to allow publicly owned hospitals to apply for Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) loans. On April 9th, Senator Manchin led nine bipartisan Senators in urging Senate leadership to clarify eligibility for publicly owned hospitals and similar care providers for PPP loans.

“Two weeks ago I urged the SBA to allow publicly owned hospitals to apply for PPP loans and today they announced they will do so. I have been advocating for our publicly owned hospitals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because without our rural hospitals, our healthcare system in West Virginia would be hurting. While this is a great step for our healthcare providers, especially our rural hospitals who are running on shoestring budgets, I will continue fighting to change the emergency healthcare funding distribution formula to ensure our rural providers receive their fair share and I won’t stop pushing for the commonsense, bipartisan fixes we know we need to make the PPP program work for Main Street, not Wall Street,” said Senator Manchin.



Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $5,556,448 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to increase COVID-19 testing across West Virginia. A breakdown of the funding allocated for testing in the additional coronavirus emergency funding package that was signed into law today can be found here.

“We must rapidly increase COVID-19 testing across West Virginia to ensure that every West Virginian who needs a test can get one. Without widespread testing, which West Virginia does not currently have, it will be difficult to treat everyone who has been affected by COVID-19 and reopen our businesses and economy. I am glad that West Virginia has received funding from HHS for testing and I will continue to work closely with state and local officials to ensure that West Virginia expands testing across the state,” said Senator Manchin.



Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $1,854,974 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Coronavirus State Hospital Improvement Program for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

“Healthcare providers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our rural hospitals, many of which were already running on shoestring budgets, are taking a financial hit. We can’t allow any of our rural hospitals to close during this pandemic, which is why I proposed HHS alter the formula to distribute emergency funding to hospitals to include dedicated funding for rural hospitals. I will continue to fight until our healthcare providers receive the support and help they need while they are taking care of their fellow West Virginians,” said Senator Manchin.



Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) called on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to work with broadband service providers and Congress to increase access to mobile broadband hotspots across rural America. Specifically, they urged Chairman Pai to work with the companies that stepped up by taking the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to provide a comprehensive report on the current distribution of hotspots by April 27th to understand where hotspots have been deployed, where they will be deployed, and where they could be deployed with a little help from the federal government to improve access for more Americans who lack affordable, reliable broadband service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senators said in part, “The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has thrown into stark relief the digital divide in our country. As millions of Americans work from home, chatting over video with colleagues thousands of miles away, sending emails, and going about their lives and livelihoods, there are still tens of millions – including thousands in our states of West Virginia and Maine – that lack access to even reliable cell service. While the lack of reliable broadband access has often been presented as a long-term infrastructure issue, the current pandemic has made the short-term challenges imposed on businesses, families, and others from mandatory school closures and business interruptions even more acutely felt. Seniors in can’t reach a doctor, students can’t finish a lesson, and small business owners can’t complete an order. Mobile broadband hotspots are uniquely capable of meeting these immediate needs now while we continue to work together on addressing the longer-term challenges.”


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

Unemployment & Direct Payments

Veterans Assistance

Basic Needs

Business Assistance


Feeling Ill?


Any new or updated information will be posted below. All information is updated daily on manchin.senate.gov/coronavirus.


  • Addition: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who don’t file tax returns will start receiving their automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department in early May.  People receiving SSI benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment.  They should immediately go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Information section to provide their information.  SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.   



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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