Governor Justice’s made several announcements on relaxing COVID-19 restrictions during his virtual meeting on virus response today.
Justice said restaurants and bars can increase customer capacity from 50% to 75%. He also stated that change applies only to bars with physical seating for each person. Social distancing and facemask guidelines remain in place.
The Governor also stated that retail businesses may now allow up to four people per 1,000 square-feet. This measure will double the existing order of two people per 1,000 square-feet.
Justice also made mention that live music events will be allowed to return to indoor venues in the Mountain State, however vocals and wind instruments are still prohibited. Social distancing and mask guidelines will remain in place for the live music venues.
Social gatherings of up to 75 people may occur.
Justice is also asking the state board of education to make it mandatory to send students K-8 back to in-person schooling full time. He did reaffirm that parents will continue to have the option to opt out if they feel returning to school is unsafe.
For Winter sports, Justice asked the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission to work with all county school boards to develop rules and attendance guidelines in place as well as social distancing requirements for after school activities.
Despite the new orders, social distancing and face mask guidelines remain the same in all public locations.
The new executive orders will go into effect at midnight tonight.