City of Morgantown passes emergency ordinance on masks, health inspections on locations identified as COVID-19 outbreak sites

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(Photo: / CC BY 2.0 / License Link)(MGN)(KWQC)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:24 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Morgantown City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday. One of the items in the ordinance imposes a fine for those not wearing face masks or coverings in indoor public spaces.

The ordinance was passed during a special meeting of the city council Tuesday morning.

According to city officials, the ordinance addresses two items, the adequate face covering requirement and the required closure of outbreaks sites.

The face covering requirement states that “all individuals age 9 and over within the City of Morgantown shall wear an adequate face covering when in confined, indoor spaces, other than when in one’s residence or when actively engaged in the consumption of food and/or beverage, and when not able to adequately social distance from other individuals who do not reside in the same household.”

The mask mandate does not apply anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance.

The city spokesperson said the mask requirement is consistent with Governor Jim Justice’s executive order on mandatory face coverings in indoor public spaces.

The penalty for those who are not wearing a face mask or covering inside a public public is a misdemeanor with $25 to $500 fine.

City officials said the second item requires that any business identified by the Monongalia County Health Department as a COVID-19 outbreak site must close.

The county health department says three cases constitute an outbreak.

Businesses identified as COVID-19 outbreak sites have to close and do a deep clean as prescribed by the health department, according to city officials. The business may “reopen only following an inspection by the Health Department and authorization to reopen issued by the Health Department.”

The penalty for obstructing a local health officer or any other person charged with enforcing a public health law is a misdemeanor with a $50 to $500 fine.

City officials say the ordinance will be enforced at the discretion of Morgantown Police officers.

The ordinance will go into affect at midnight Wednesday.

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