City of Elkins Coronavirus Recommendations

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
3:30 p.m.

Updated to reflect the president’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus” recommendations. Visit coronavirus.gov to review the complete set of recommendations.

The nation, the state, and the City of Elkins are now under states of emergency. Barring additional orders, a state of emergency does not impose any mandatory restrictions on private businesses or on county or city governments.

However, last night, the White House issued new guidance for all Americans. The president’s plan, “15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus,” may be accessed at coronavirus.gov.

The guidance from the White House includes information about what to do if you or your children feel sick; advice for older or ill people; and other special categories. Again, please visit coronavirus.gov for more information.

The White House has issued the following specific guidance for even young, healthy people:

  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.  You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Based on this and other guidance from the CDC and the White House, the City of Elkins urges area residents and business owners to review the recommendations in the following list. These are not orders in Elkins or West Virginia but may become orders in the future.

Some businesses and organizations in the Elkins have already taken some of these steps. Please consider which ones are appropriate for your business or organization and proceed accordingly. Please also continue monitoring for updates. This is a fluid situation and may change quickly.

  • Businesses can limit entrance to their stores to minimize the number of people present at any one time.
  • Businesses with drive-through facilities can close their dining rooms and lobbies to the public, limiting customer service to drive-through only.
  • Restaurants can restrict service to carry-out/curbside only.
  • Businesses can follow the lead of all federal and state government agencies by eliminating non-essential travel.
  • Businesses can implement flexible remote work policies and, where this is not possible, reduce staffing levels present at any one time. (Keep in mind that many parents now have no childcare options other than remaining at home themselves.)
  • Businesses can institute temporary exceptions to current sick-leave policies. (If an employee tests positive for coronavirus, the current medical recommendation will be for the person to remain quarantined at home for two weeks—if they are not hospitalized.)

Thank you for considering these ideas. For more information about workplace, community, and home preparedness for coronavirus, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and coronavirus.wv.gov.