CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) —People going into buildings in West Virginia, both public and private, will have to wear some type of face covering if they can’t stay a social distance of at least six feet from others.
In the last two weeks, West Virginia has seen a spike in people testing positive for COVID-19. The governor says it’s all about public safety and health.
“It takes this long, that long to put on. For crying out loud. And the inconvenience is next to nothing. Wear your mask. It’s the only way we can stop this,” said Gov. Jim Justice, R-WV.
State health officials say the mask wearing edict falls under a declaration of an emergency, and things are getting worse, not better.
“Today we have the seventh-largest R-T level in the nation at 1.27%, and it’s been increasing very consistently,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, WV COVID-19 Czar.
But there are critics in the state legislature, including one delegate now running for Governor. He says Justice lacks the legal right to make you wear a mask.
“We need to take common-sense precautions, to protect ourselves and our families. But the governor does not have the authority to order you to wear a mask, or to order you to stay or, and by God, he certainly doesn’t have the authority to shut down your business,” said Del. S. Marshall Wilson, I-Candidate for WV Governor.
“I know in my heart that if we don’t do this, we’re going to have funeral, after funeral, after funeral,” said Gov. Jim Justice, R-West Virginia.
“Despite the mandatory mask order, the governor says no one will be fined or taken to jail for not complying. He says its about appealing to the conscience of West Virginians to do the right and safe thing,” Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.