Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: As of Sept. 15, authorities in West Virginia, US, maintain business and gathering restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Alert Begins 15 Sep 2020 12:27 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): West Virginia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions

Summary
As of Sept. 15, authorities in West Virginia have maintained previously imposed restrictions to curb the increase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All residents over the age of eight must wear facemasks whenever they are in indoor public settings and social distancing cannot be maintained.

Additionally, officials maintain an order to cancel all fairs, festivals, and concerts in the state, both indoors and outdoors, and maintain a ban on social gatherings of more than 25 people. This limit does not apply to businesses or certain events such as religious ceremonies, weddings, or conferences. Officials have also extended the order to close all bars in Monongalia County until further notice.

Otherwise, most nonessential businesses and other facilities, including casinos, movie theaters, bars (except in Monongalia County), restaurants, barbershops, hair salons, gyms, and amusement parks, can operate. All establishments that reopen are required to comply with certain mandates aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus, including directives on enhanced sanitization procedures, use of personal protective equipment, and social distancing guidelines.

All residents - especially senior citizens and persons with compromised immune systems - are still encouraged to remain home to the extent possible.

The state is implementing a four-tier color-based county alert system, depending on the levels of COVID-19 activity in each jurisdiction, to determine whether schools can reopen to in-person lessons. The system goes from green, the lowest level of COVID-19 activity, to red, the highest level of COVID-19 activity. Counties in the orange and red levels must suspend all in-person lessons and activities. As of Sept. 15, Monongalia County is in the red level, and Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, Mingo, Monroe, and Putnam counties are in the orange level.

Authorities could reimpose, tighten, or otherwise amend restrictions over the coming weeks, should any spike in disease activity occur.

Advice
Heed the directives of the authorities. Continue to emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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