State puts focus on indoor mask rule, other steps to curb COVID spread

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice today said an indoor mask rule that’s been in place for months has been amended and he expects the public to follow it, and businesses to enforce it.

Under the rule, people are required to wear a face covering or mask in any indoor public space for the entire time they are in that location. An exception is made while a person is eating and drinking in an indoor dining establishment. Children under the age of 9 are not covered by the rule, nor are individuals for whom masks pose a breathing problem. The governor’s order says businesses must post a sign announcing the mask rule, and that business owners should enforce the order or face penalties.

The amended order comes as 742 new cases of COVID-19 respiratory illness have been reported across West Virginia in just 24 hours.

Gov. Justice also said public school students across the state would be engaged in remote learning for the week following Thanksgiving. Public health officials have warned that family gatherings could drive the spread of respiratory illnesses. Winter sports for school students could also be delayed following the governor’s Friday announcements.