COVID-19 guidance lifted at farmers markets

Coronavirus in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As the 4th of July holiday weekend came to an end, vendors at Capitol Market in Charleston said it was slightly busier.

Last year, farmers market vendors had to follow the COVID-19 guidance published by the CDC and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

This included measures like putting up informational signage, pre-packaging items when possible, spacing out produce stands, and not giving out samples.

“Last year we had the plexiglass up to protect us and we sanitized extra,” said Will Rovoski with Gritt’s Produce.

Earlier this month, these rules were lifted.

In a statement to 13 News Crescent Gallagher, director of communications for the WVDA wrote: “As numbers continue to fall folks should still follow CDC guidelines especially if they feel ill. Farmers’ markets have continued to operate without shutting down during the pandemic. Everyone should get out and support their local farmer.”

In Monday’s 90-degree weather, many shoppers at Capitol Market left their masks home.

“We’re very happy that it’s been lifted, we feel comfortable outdoors,” said a mother-daughter duo eating ice cream.

A few masks were still visible.

One woman approached by 13 News said she is fully vaccinated but doesn’t want to risk giving it to someone.

As things get back to normal, in the absence of masks, vendors say they’re still keeping the hand sanitizer out.

“We do continue to sanitize and I think people continue to keep distance from each other still, but with all the air diffusion here I think it’s generally pretty safe,” said Rovoski.

“It’s just not really been a thought for me,” said Doug McCauley with Jackson County Produce.

“I’m all vaccinated up and just about everybody I talk to, they’re glad to be vaccinated and glad to be back in the market.”

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