Looking at ways to enforce the W.Va. mask mandate

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 7:52 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As of early Tuesday, face coverings of some kind will be required in indoor public spaces in West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice said Monday," If you chose not to wear a mask there will be no criminal offense. We're not going to haul you off to jail."

The governor said it would be up to business owners to enforce the mandate.

Dr. Michael Kilkenny, director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, said they are happy to educate the public about the order.

“We can assist business owners and encourage people to wear a mask,” Kilkenny said.” We can also assist with signage that helps to enforce it. There are a lot of other enforcement efforts that are short of punishment.”

No formal tickets or citations will be issued, but Kilkenny said there could be punishment later on for those who chose not to abide.

“We do have to understand if enforcement from a heavy hand is required then it will occur in the form of perhaps closed businesses. If you’re not going to act safely we know the government can stop the action,” Kilkenny said.

The new mask requirement does not apply to children under the age of nine or anyone who has trouble breathing or who’s otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

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