Governor consolidates W.Va. COVID-19 executive orders

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 4:52 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Gov. Jim Justice Monday announced he was signing a new executive order updating clarifying executive orders from the past year related to COVID-19.

“Throughout the past year, I have signed a total of 91 executive orders to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Justice said during his COVID-19 briefing. “These orders were absolutely necessary to keep our people safe, keep our businesses afloat, and keep us on the right track to beat this virus. As a result, we have led the nation over and over. But, it can be confusing for the public to keep track of all the different orders. So today, I am signing a new executive order that’s cleaning up and doing away with a great, great many of the executive orders that have been in place.”

Justice removed the limitation on the number of people permitted to gather for purely social purposes. The governor also announced that his executive order adds an additional exemption to the statewide indoor face covering requirement so that, if you are actively engaged in physical activity like indoor sports, you do not need to wear a face covering. Mask requirements remain in effect for businesses and public buildings.

”This order will also reinstate some requirements for unemployment benefits that we waived early on during the pandemic,” Gov. Justice said. “We need to put these requirements back so we can get back to work.”I am also leaving in place the requirement that all healthcare facilities and providers in our state remain vigilant with plans for surge capacity and PPE in case we ever need it again,” Gov. Justice continued, adding that several additional orders suspending regulations to make access to health care, business licensure, and other aspects of life easier will also remain in effect.

The state continues to see a decline in both vaccinations and testing for COVID-19. Retired Major General James Hoyer, who heads the state interagency task force, repeated a call he made Friday, for organizations wanting to hold vaccination events to contact the state. He said, while use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine remains on hold, the state has plenty of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for distribution.

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