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31 May 2020 @ 12:00PM - 05:00PM - Maysville VFD Chicken Dinner

In an interview last week, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey addressed multiple issues affecting Grant County, including price gouging and scams.

“It is our goal to be as responsive as possible to all 55 counties,” Morrisey said. “I never want Grant County to feel as if they are being overlooked because I can assure you, your concerns matter.”

Morrisey outlined his office’s role in preventing price gouging, an issue that has been heavily debated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an analysis by Finder, an independent comparison platform and information service, West Virginia’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic stands out among the nation.

The platform ranked the state number one in its response time to the pandemic, applauding the state government in their early reaction in not only closing schools but in also encouraging social distancing.

On April 22, West Virginia Governor Justice announced the state’s public schools would not be reopening this semester.

The announcement pertains to school buildings, with distance learning and meals continuing to be supplied for the duration of the regular season.

He also clarified that spring sports and basketball tournaments would be officially canceled.

The announcement did not address graduation ceremonies, a topic that appears to be left to individual districts.

Grant County superintendent Doug Lambert said the county is planning to recognize the graduating class of 2020 with a ceremony.

“Things are changing very rapidly but we fully intend to honor our seniors and, if all possible, we intend to do that with an in-person graduation,” Lambert said. “Graduation is important to the seniors, to their parents, to their family and to our employees. We don’t intend to lose that this year.”

He explained that the school year will continue via distance learning until the regularly planned end of the semester.

“We encourage everyone to stay positive,” Lambert said. “We are working as hard as possible to provide for our students and to make informed decisions in an ever-changing situation.

Customers from all over the region were sent home after a chicken sale hosted by the Pilgrim’s Fresh Plant in Moorefield was shut down prematurely last weekend.

Charges are pending in a fatal car accident that claimed the life of a Petersburg High School senior last weekend.

According to a report by WHSV news station in Virginia, Derika Crites, 18, of Maysville, was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Tyler W. Custer, 21, of Fulks Run, Va., when the accident occurred.

Local police are investigating a suspicious fire that left an abandoned house destroyed but no one injured.

According to a press release from the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company, the fire started early in the morning hours of April 12. The department was alerted to a working structure fire at an abandoned residence in Grant County at just before 1 a.m. First on the scene was PVFC Deputy Chief Keen, who assumed command of the incident and requested additional assistance to deal with the fully involved structure fire. Upon arrival, multiple fire engine handlines were placed to start an exterior operation due to the extreme structural damage. Despite the severity of the situation, the responders were able to place the fire under control within 30 minutes.

Taxpayers will have a little extra time this season to pay their county taxes as, the deadline to pay personal and real property taxes was moved from April 1 to May 1, due to the closures caused by COVID-19,

The decision to move the date was handed down Governor Jim Justice earlier this month.

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.

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