Monongalia County bars on track to reopen Monday

Governor ordered them to close on July 14, citing rising COVID-19 cases linked to bars
Published: Aug. 29, 2020 at 11:03 AM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Ordered to shut down in mid-July, Monongalia County bars are finally set to reopen on Monday.

Governor Jim Justice on Friday said bars in the county are on track to reopen for business, more than a month after he ordered them to close due to rising coronavirus cases in the county. He said local health officials reported case numbers have stabilized.

“That said, we have to stay very careful because we can’t afford for these numbers to slip,” Gov. Justice said. “So in order to reopen, these bars are going to have to follow extra-stringent safety guidelines.”

The governor’s initial executive order required bars to close for 10 days starting on July 14. He extended the executive order multiple times, citing reports from local health officials that community spread of the virus was largely linked to bars.

As of Saturday, Monongalia County had 87 confirmed cases of COVID-19. It’s had 1,074 cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic, second only to Kanawha County, which has 1,346 confirmed cases.

When bars were ordered to close, the governor said Monongalia County had 340 active cases.

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