CHARLESTON — All bars in Monongalia County will continue to stay closed for 10 more days, according to a new executive order by Gov. Jim Justice.
The new order extends the countywide bar closure — originally established under Executive Order 52-20, and extended under Executive Order 55-20 — until Thursday, Aug. 13 at 12:01 a.m.
“As we approach the end of summer, it is still extremely important for us to keep seeing more improvement with our numbers in Monongalia County,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to keep watching our numbers every single day. We want to get our bars in Mon County reopened as soon as possible, but we need to make sure we do it in a way that’s safest for everyone in the community.”
As of Saturday morning, Aug. 1, more than 7.7% of West Virginia’s active cases were located in Monongalia County. More than half of the county’s remaining active cases are in the 20-29 age group. From July 1 to July 31, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Mon County jumped from 166 to 880. According to Saturday’s COVID-19 update from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Mon County added 13 more cases from Friday to Saturday for a total of 893 cases of the coronavirus.
The order was also requested by the Monongalia County Commission to help ensure the health and safety of citizens. The order keeps all Monongalia County bars closed for the on-premises consumption of food or drinks or occupancy by the general public. However, customers are still permitted to pick up food or drinks to be taken away.
The order maintains that patrons are allowed to be seated, for dining, at tables and bar tops within “bar areas” of restaurants, hotels, and other similar facilities, subject to the same limitations that are in place for restaurants.
The executive order will be filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday, at which point the document will be updated on the Governor’s website.