Gov. Justice reinstates restriction on crowd size, cancels all fairs, festivals and outdoor concerts

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 1:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Monday afternoon W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice reinstated a number of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’ve got to significantly restrict the crowd size again. We went to 100, now we are going to go back to 25,” Justice said.

Groups larger than 25 can no longer gather in the state, he said Monday.

The governor says this restriction does not apply to churches that have been deemed essential since the beginning of the pandemic. The governor did, however, ask all congregations to wear a mask when in houses of worship.

The governor also said Monday that the crowd restriction “does not pertain to outdoor pools, little leagues or sporting events” provided people can follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

“Weddings are (also) exempt, that’s never been a questions,” Justice told WSAZ. “The restaurants are exempt because, they’re (already) social distancing, they’re doing the 50% capacity.”

The governor also announced that fairs, festivals and outdoor concerts are also no longer permitted unless the crowd size is less than 25.

During his news conference Monday, Gov. Justice spoke about a rise in active cases and community based outbreaks of coronavirus in Monongalia County.

Gov. Justice says the increase in virus activity sparked his decision to close all bars in the county. Bars must remain closed for 10 days.

WSAZ asked Gov. Justice if a bar shut down could happen to counties in our region like: Kanawha, Putnam or Cabell:

“All we’re going to do is watch the numbers,” Justice said. “Right now, statewide we’re still in good shape, we got a hot spot in Mon County, and we’re trying to tend to it.”

When asked a question about the mask mandate he issued last week, the governor said, “Our goal is 80% compliance. But we want to be 99.9. It will change these numbers and it will protect us.”

“This is your answer right now. This is the only bullet in the gun right now,” Justice said while holding up a mask.

“I do not believe we are going to have radical shutdowns in this state,” he said.

Justice said it could take anywhere from 14 days to potentially four weeks to see some level of movement in the numbers before they can revisit their gathering size limitation rule.

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