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Gov. Justice issues order for West Virginians to wear masks

By Lacie Pierson, Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginians now will be required to wear face masks in public buildings, Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday.

The executive order, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, applies to everyone 9 years or older.

Gov. Jim Justice puts on a face mask during a news conference Monday.Screenshot via W.Va. Public Broadcasting

“West Virginia, we are absolutely in a situation to where we have got to make a move right now,” Justice said during his regular COVID-19 briefing Monday afternoon. “I know there’s going to be pushback. I know there’s going to be people saying, ‘I don’t have to do that.’ I’ll tell you, West Virginia, if we don’t do that and do this now, we’re going to be in a world of hurt.”

The order requires state residents to wear an “adequate face covering” when they are in a confined space and social distancing isn’t possible. The order does not apply to anywhere outdoors. In addition to face masks, the order says face coverings can include such things as bandanas, handkerchiefs, face shields and dust masks.

Justice said it will be up to businesses to enforce his order, adding there would not be any criminal charges or other governmental action for people who do not wear a mask outside of their own homes. …

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