Decision to make masks mandatory in WV could be on the horizon

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Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

The Governor spoke on Thursday, July 2, 2020 instead of Friday due to the holiday weekend. He spoke about concerns of a surge in the virus due to recent reports from other states. The Governor addressed the need for people to wear masks. He stated he is considering making masks mandatory in buildings other than a person’s home. This decision could be made on Monday, July 6, 2020.

The decision will depend on information which is still being gathered. The Governor also stated he felt West Virginians needed a heads up before making this a requirement. He said if you do not have a mask now, you should work to get one in case the decision is made.

The Governor addressed how the requirement would be enforced. There will not be arrests made, but all people and businesses will be asked to comply. The Governor reiterated information previously stated by Clay Marsh. That is, if 80-percent of the people wear masks it will seriously limit the spread of the virus. Gov. Justice said the hope is West Virginians will comply with a mask requirement at a number closer to 99.999-percent.

The Governor provided details on the active cases. There are 115 of 585 active cases related to travel to the Myrtle Beach area.

The revenue department addressed a deficit of $1.3 million that was found on July 1, 2020. On Wednesday afternoon it was determined there was $3.8 million which came in on June 30. Of that $1.3 million was income tax withholding due to a pay cycle for state employees. That is an unusual case due to a payday coming in conjunction with a turn over of the fiscal year. The money was determined to have been moved to the 2021 account.

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