West Virginia health officials implement uniform social distancing guidelines for businesses


CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — An emergency rule was filed on Thursday, April 16 by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau of Public Health. The rule implements uniform social distancing guidelines for all 55 counties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to provide consistency to retailers and assurance for purchasers. The complete ruling can be found on the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website.

“This aligns with Governor Justice’s direction to us that we continue to do everything in DHHR’s power to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, while also keeping critical retail operations open and functioning in a safe manner for both the employees and the public,” said Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.   

Some highlights of the rule are public access restrictions. These include no more than two members of the public inside a business per 1,000 sq. ft. of customer floor space or no more than five people including employees inside any business with less than 1,000 sq. ft.

Businesses with 80 percent or more of their sales from grocery food products may have three members of the public per 1,000 sq. ft.

Penalties for non-compliance apply to any person who is subject to the provisions of the rule. They include a misdemeanor charge and a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $500.

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