Healthcare, Latest News, Monongalia County, State Government

Mon bars may reopen Tuesday, Oct. 13; enhanced enforcement planned

MORGANTOWN — Monongalia County bars will be permitted to reopen on Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced on Friday.

The state is stepping up enforcement by sending more ABCA agents and State Police to the area, he said. Bars that fail to enforce the guidelines by allowing unmasked patrons to pile up inside or in lines outside will be shut down again.

State restaurant and bar guidelines include spacing limitations based on 50% capacity and social distancing, and mandatory mask wearing except while eating or drinking. Live entertainment is prohibited. Establishments may not provide dance floors and should discourage dancing, which does not allow for social distancing to be maintained.

Violations could lead to license suspension, Justice said, but he hopes that doesn’t happen. “I don’t like anything that becomes threatening, but you’ve got to listen to us. You’ve got to do everything in your power that we don’t slip back in to where we were before. .. We’ll work with you. If you give it everything you’ve got and we give it everything we’ve got, we’ll succeed.”

The Dominion Post asked if a shutdown cold be immediate – if patrons could be dispersed and the doors locked that vary hour. He said yes.

In other COVID news. Justice announced that the Department of Health and Human Resources has partnered with Walgreens to offer free COVID testing at 16 drive-through locations – including Mon County – and with Fruth Pharmacy.

DHHR is compensating the pharmacies for their participation, Secretary Bill Crouch said, and hopes to wrap in all the other pharmacies in the state to make free testing as widely available as possible.

Appointments are required. Results are expected within 24-48 hours, Crouch said, and some system bugs have been worked out so residents who live close to a border and get a test in another state also should have results within that window. Residents may also get the free test in a different county from where they live.

Justice went through his daily list of jail, nursing home and church outbreaks. The are now 15 church outbreaks in 11 counties. People know by now what the precautions are. “Gotta tighten it up guys, that’s all there is to it,” he said.

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