CHARLESTON — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a stay at home order for all non-essential workers in West Virginia beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Residents cannot leave their home unless for essential services. Essential services include:

  • Going to the store to get groceries
  • Picking up prescriptions and other healthcare necessities
  • Going to medical appointments
  • Check on a family member or loved one
  • Going to a restaurant to pick up carry out
  • Walking pets and taking them to the vet if necessary
  • Taking a walk, riding a bike, other nature-based activities, as long as people stay 6 feet apart
  • Receive deliveries

The order comes after the first identified case of community spread in West Virginia. Justice said the patient was a “nursing home lady,” but it was not clear if it was a resident of a nursing home or a staff member.

All other cases of COVID-19 in the state have been travel-related.

Several states, including California, Washington, Illinois, New York and, as of Sunday, Ohio and Louisiana, have ordered residents to stay in their homes unless it is necessary for them to leave.

A stay-in-place order allows for the continued operation of life-sustaining services and businesses, including health care, pharmacies, financial institutions, grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants serving take-out, and would provide time for health systems to prepare for what they believe is an inevitable spike in infected patients.

Check for news updates about the coronavirus pandemic.