Justice ends social gathering limit, loosens mask requirement in West Virginia


The social gathering limit in West Virginia has ended and the mask requirement has been loosened after Gov. Jim Justice signed Executive Order 12-21 on Monday.

All gatherings purely for social purposes will no longer have a capacity limit. The executive order also includes an exemption to the mask requirement, which will allow those engaged in physical activity, such as indoor sports, to forgo a mask.

“Throughout the past year, I have signed a total of 91 executive orders to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Justice said in a statement.

“These orders were absolutely necessary to keep our people safe, keep our businesses afloat, and keep us on the right track to beat this virus,” Justice said. “As a result, we have led the nation over and over. But, it can be confusing for the public to keep track of all the different orders. So today, I am signing a new executive order that’s cleaning up and doing away with a great, great many of the executive orders that have been in place. There was a lot of stuff that was very valuable when we put it in that has now outlived its time, and now it’s time to move forward.”

The order will also reinstate some eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits that were waived to incentivize people to go back to work.

Requirements that healthcare facilities and providers maintain surge capacity and personal protective equipment plans is still in effect. Executive orders that suspended certain regulations on health care, business licenses and other areas of economic activity will also remain in effect.

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