April 30, 2020





Charleston, WV – On Friday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m., U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) will host a town hall via Facebook to answer questions from West Virginians about the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including small business loans, expanded unemployment compensation, COVID-19 testing, and next steps in the U.S. Senate. West Virginians can submit questions by emailing townhall@manchin.senate.gov.

Visit Senator Manchin’s Facebook page.



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.

Since this pandemic began, so many family events have been put on the backburner. The Easter holiday, weddings, graduations – all have had to be put on hold in order to protect our loved ones. However, many have still found creative ways to celebrate these special occasions in order to bring some cheer to the lives of those around them.

That’s why I’m so proud to congratulate Sam Neff and Jacey Roblee who married on their original wedding date of April 4th. Together, they had a small ceremony in Jacey’s grandmother’s back yard, overlooking the beautiful Coal River.

It’s inspiring that they found a way to celebrate safely, and they are still planning to hold a reception for all their family and friends once it is safe to do so.  

Additionally, the couple and their family are grateful to the local vendors and businesses that were so gracious and considerate as they had to postpone their previous arrangements for the wedding.

Congratulations to Sam, Jacey and baby Audree!





Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to increase reimbursement payments for telephone-based health services to equal other audio-visual and in-person visitation reimbursements. This decision comes 24 hours after Senator Manchin led 37 bipartisan Senators in advocating for this exact policy change.

“I am very pleased that HHS and CMS have made the decision to increase telephone-based telehealth services reimbursements. In West Virginia and rural areas across America, many people do not have access to reliable broadband, which is necessary to use video telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead they must turn to telephone-based telehealth services, which until today were not reimbursed at the same level,” Senator Manchin said. “This change will increase access to health services for West Virginians and ensures that our healthcare professionals are reimbursed fairly for their hard work taking care of their fellow West Virginians throughout this terrible pandemic.”


Charleston, WV – Today. U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) urged U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Wilkie to classify mobile COVID-19 testing as “Urgent Care” or “Emergency Care” for Veterans in order to allow Veterans to get tested in the community without prior-authorization by the VA. Secretary Wilkie gave the Senators assurances that he would look into the waiver process for Veterans to get tested at mobile testing sites with costs covered by the VA.

“No one in America should have to pay for COVID-19 testing out of their own pocket, especially our brave Veterans. Today Senator Capito and I urged VA Secretary Wilkie to allow Veterans to be tested at mobile testing sites with their costs covered by the VA. Secretary Wilkie promised that he would look into the process to see what can be done to ensure Veterans can receive coverage for their tests, no matter where they go. The CARES Act included $19.57 billion to ensure the VA has equipment, tests, telehealth capabilities and support services necessary to support Veterans and the healthcare workforce at facilities nationwide. No Veteran should have to jump through hoops to receive a test right now. I will continue to work with the VA until this issue is resolved for our Veterans in West Virginia and across the nation,” said Senator Manchin.


Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced a legislative proposal that will provide employers greater flexibility in meeting the forgiveness requirements for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. By extending the time frame businesses are able to utilize their funds and pay employees, from 8 to 16 weeks after the date they receive their PPP funds, businesses can utilize the PPP loans in an effective way that works for their businesses. Senator Manchin has heard from numerous West Virginia business owners who have concerns about bringing employees back to work before the business is sufficiently recovered.

“It’s no secret COVID-19 has taken a toll on West Virginia businesses, especially our small businesses. Many businesses have taken advantage of the PPP loans, which have been instrumental in ensuring these businesses stay afloat and their employees receive a paycheck. My proposal would simply extend the time for eligible costs from 8 weeks to 16 weeks so small businesses are able to take full advantage of the program benefits on a timetable that works for them, without jeopardizing their eligibility for loan forgiveness. We cannot expect the PPP program to be successful if businesses are expected to bring employees back to work and begin paying down a loan before their business has had time to recover,” Senator Manchin said.

Information on the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act can be found here.

The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Bill text can be found here.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.


Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), today led 37 Senators in advocating for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase telephone-based, or audio-only, telehealth reimbursements to equal other audio-visual and in-person visitation reimbursements. Many West Virginians do not have access to reliable broadband, making it nearly impossible to use video-sharing to receive telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead they must turn to telephone-based telehealth services. However, healthcare professionals who provide these services are not receiving the same reimbursement for their telephone-based consultations as they would for visual or in-person consultations.

The Senators said in part, “As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities across the United States, millions of people are following directives to stay home and avoid risking exposure to the virus. In conjunction with those directives, health care providers have shifted to offering audio-visual telehealth services to patients, so that patients can receive evaluations, medical consultations, checkups and other services in their own homes, instead of risking exposure at a health care facility. However, for instances where a patient has no home access to internet, broadband or other cell phone services, physicians and other providers are furnishing these medical consultations through audio-only formats, such as telephone calls.”


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.



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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