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Local Events

05 Jun 2020 @ 08:00AM - 04:00PM - Grandview Subdivison Community Yard Sale
06 Jun 2020 @ 08:00AM - 12:00PM - Grant County Farmers Market opening

Last week, members of the West Virginia National Guard were working in the area to ensure the community is informed on how to most effectively protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19.

As part of their outreach, Guardsmen were traveling to local businesses and agencies to demonstrate the proper use of protective gear, including masks, gloves and cleaning products.

Effective immediately Governor Justice has ordered the following Rules for Businesses.

 In response to several questions, please note the following:

  1. The rule applies to every county.
  2. Only businesses allowed to remain open per executive orders may remain open (i.e. “essential businesses”). Future executive orders may categorize businesses other than “essential” that may open.
  3. The rule does not expand the businesses identified by current executive orders that are allowed to be open. Any changes would be made by future executive orders of the Governor.

 

TITLE 64

LEGISLATIVE RULE

BUREAU FOR PUBLIC HEALTH

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES

SERIES 114

PUBLIC HEALTH STANDARDS FOR BUSINESSES REMAINING OPEN

 DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

§64-114-1.  General.

1.1.  Scope  --  This emergency rule establishes uniform public health standards for businesses operating in the state during the declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the provisions of this emergency rule supersede any conflicting provisions of local board of health or other local governing body order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.2.  Authority  --  W. Va. Code §§ 16-3-1, 16-1-4, and 29A-3-15.

1.3.  Filing Date  --  

1.4.  Effective Date  --  

1.5.  Sunset Provision  --  This rule shall terminate and have no further force or effect upon the expiration of five years from its effective date.

1.6.  Applicability  --  This rule applies to all businesses permitted to remain operational or open to the public by Executive Order of the Governor of the State of West Virginia.

1.7.  Enforcement  --  this rule may be enforced by the Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health or by the Local Health Officer of the Local Board of Health for the jurisdiction in which the business operates. 

§64-114-2.  Definitions.

2.1.  Business  --  A business or operation conducted by private or public employer or entity, or both, including non-profit businesses or operations in West Virginia permitted to remain operational or open to the public by Executive Order of the Governor of the State of West Virginia during the state of emergency.

2.2.  Commissioner  --  The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

2.3.  Customer floor space  --  The amount of floor space open to the public by the business.

2.4.  Local Health Officer  -- The individual who fulfills the duties and responsibilities of the health officer for a local board of health, or his or her designee.

2.5.  Public  --  Persons not employees of the business.

§64-114-3.  Essential Businesses and Operations.

3.1.  Essential Businesses and Operations. As defined by Executive Order 9-20, or as amended by subsequent Executive Order, any business conducted by private or public employers or entities, or both,  including non-profit businesses or operations in any county, shall direct their employees, contractors, and vendors to work from home, to the maximum extent possible, or to otherwise work remotely in order to limit the circumstances requiring their employees to leave home. 

3.2.  Public Health Standards for Businesses Remaining Open. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 3.1., businesses that choose to remain open must take the following minimum additional actions:

3.2.a.  Implement a written plan to limit staff, contractors, and vendors to essential personnel;

3.2.b.  Implement social distancing practices in the workplace where possible, including remaining at a minimum six-foot distance from other persons;

3.2.c.  Supplying multiple, adequate disinfecting and hygienic supplies and dispensers to staff and other persons as needed, such as disinfecting wipes or spray, hand sanitizer, and soap and water consistent with the number of persons allowed to be on the premises as set forth herein; and

3.2.d.  Provide protective barriers for employees exposed to the general public.

3.3.  Public Access Restrictions. All businesses that remain open to the public shall limit access to the general public as follows:

3.3.a.  No more than two individual members of the public may enter a business per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space at any given time; businesses of less than 1,000 square feet of customer floor space shall not permit that space to be occupied by more than five persons, including employees, at any given time.

3.3.b.  For businesses whose sales are comprised of at least 80 percent grocery food products or more, no more than three members of the public may enter a business per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space at any given time.

3.3.c.  To ensure that the number of people per square foot requirements are not violated, each business shall track the number of people who enter and leave the business and control the capacity on a one-in, one-out basis after the maximum capacity required by this section has been reached.

3.3.d.  All businesses shall take actions to establish appropriate social distancing measures for the public to the greatest extent possible, including but not limited to, marking areas a minimum of six  feet apart at any area where persons are likely to stand or wait in line, creating one-way aisles, and any other restrictions which limit close contact with other people. 

3.3.e.  To the extent practicable, a business shall encourage its customers to place their order ahead to allow customers to pick up and pay without entering the business.

3.3.f.  Any business that remains open to the public shall prominently display the directives required by this section in a conspicuous manner at each public point of entry to the business. 

§64-114-4.  Penalties.

4.1.  Any person who is subject to the provisions of this rule who fails to comply with the requirements herein or otherwise fails to act in accordance with this rule may be subject to enforcement order issued by the Commissioner or local health officer, and is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $25, nor more than $200, as provided by W. Va. Code §16-3-2. 

§64-114-5.  Administrative Due Process.

5.1.  Any person adversely affected by the enforcement of this rule desiring a contested case hearing to determine any rights, duties, interests or privileges shall do so in a manner prescribed in the Bureau procedural rule, Rules of Procedure for Contested Case Hearings and Declaratory Rulings, 64CSR1.

Six masked men were seen Sunday morning at the Petersburg city parking lot - all six pastors of area churches and part of the Grant County Ministerial Association’s drive-in Easter Sunday community celebration.

The Petersburg City Council voted last week to approve the purchase of a columbarium for the city’s Maple Hill Cemetery.

A columbarium is a structure that contains niches to house funeral urns and allows for cremated ashes to be safely included at the cemetery while also offering a much less costly option compared to purchasing a headstone.

A new effort to make Petersburg a more beautiful place released a set of tentative plans aimed at bringing the city to life with fresh flowers and trees.

The Downtown Petersburg Beautification Project is a locally led effort striving to improve the look of the city while also working alongside other growth efforts already planned in the community.

The effort is being spearheaded by Grant County residents, Tammy Kimble and Kim Secrist.

As social distancing continues to be the primary weapon in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many local agencies are getting creative in the way they provide services to their clients.

One such agency is the Potomac Highlands Guild, a Petersburg-based program working to provide mental health services to the region. These services include individual and family counseling, intervention and recovery assistance.

West Virginia Mask Army volunteer Debra Rexrode of Grant County sews masks in her home.

As businesses continue to shutter and the state keeps a wary eye on the continually rising COVID-19 pandemic, many local volunteers are finding a way to give back to those fighting the illness on the front lines.

One of the biggest issues currently facing the nation is an all around lack of protective supplies, with hospitals and health departments struggling to receive enough stock to combat potential outbreaks. However, while the nation is working to shore up production of these supplies, it has been community volunteers that have stepped up to fill some of this need – and Grant Countians have been no exception.

One protective supply sorely lacking in the country is protective face masks and West Virginia Mask Army, a state-wide nonprofit, is helping to fill that gap. The program is volunteer based, with many communities around the state creating their own “hubs” to fill supplies for their local agencies.

Late last month, an outdated registration stop ended in the discovery of more than 2.3 grams of methamphetamine and the arrest of a Petersburg woman.

On March 18, Gloria L. Merritt, 41, of 1771 Ridge Rd., Maysville, was pulled over after an officer with the Grant County Sheriff’s Department noticed her vehicle registration was expired while stopped at the stop light on Virginia Avenue in Petersburg.

The Hardy County couple arrested last year for burning down a storage building in Petersburg have now been indicted by a Grant County grand jury.

Hunter Todd Largent, 36, and Marci Lynn Largent, 46, of P.O. Box 883, Moorefield, were indicted on charges of second degree arson, 16 counts of third degree arson and three counts of causing injury during arson.

The fire occurred in December 2019, when officers and firefighters were dispatched to an active fire at one storage facility in Petersburg, containing 20 individual storage units. The total value of property loss from the fire is estimated to be more than $150,000.

In order to ensure safety during the pandemic, several local services are making changes to their routine practices.

One of these changes was announced last week, with the City of Petersburg announcing that all city trash must be in plastic bags and tied, or it would no longer be picked up.

West Virginia Mask Army is a statewide nonprofit that is helping to fill the gap in face mask supplies and is playing a crucial roll in the health of Grant County citizens. The program’s Potomac Highlands Hub is being headed by Kim Musser of Grant County and has already produced over 1,000 face masks for essential organizations, such as Grant Memorial Hospital, local fire departments and law enforcement. 

The masks, which are made from polypropylene furnace filters, are far more effective at filtering airborne particles then their cloth counterparts.  The program has received support from the National Guard and is being headed up by a biologist at Marshall University.

As protective medical supplies nationwide continue to be stretched thin, many states have looked to community efforts to potentially assist in filling those needs until supplies become more readily available. Anyone who would like to volunteer to sew can learn more by visiting their Facebook page “WV Mask Army Potomac Highlands Hub” and those who would like to donate towards the effort can do so at this link: Grant County Ministerial Association Mask Fundor by clicking the button on the Grant County Press home page.

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
Advertising Manager - Tara Warner Pratt; 
Graphic Designer - Jesse Hedrick;
Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
Circulation - Mary Simmons

© 2017-2018 Grant County Press

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