Looking Ahead to Governor’s Reopening Guidelines

April 24, 2020

Governor Justice announced Friday that his office would release guidelines for reopening certain businesses early next week.

City officials have already been receiving questions from business owners about what guidelines and restrictions they may be required to operate under. For example, some business owners have asked if the city plans to impose any special restrictions locally in addition to what the governor will announce.

The simple answer is that it won’t be possible to answer such questions until the governor releases his new guidelines.

Elkins residents and business owners are reminded that the vast majority of restrictions and closures in place in the city are the result of the governor’s previous orders. The only additional restrictions ordered by Mayor Van Broughton in Elkins are the closure of city hall to the public and the prohibition of yard and similar sales. City officials will carefully evaluate any new orders or guidelines released by the governor to see if any additional or complementary actions are warranted locally.

No matter what the governor announces, it is important for everyone to realize that there is a great deal of personal responsibility involved in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Business owners and customers should review CDC recommendations for operating businesses more safely during this pandemic and plan to err on the side of caution.

If your business is permitted to reopen, please think very carefully about how you can follow or even exceed the governor’s guidelines and the recommendations of CDC experts.

If you are considering patronizing a business, keep your eyes open and think carefully about the procedures that the business is following. If you don’t feel safe, let a manager know that you won’t be back until your concerns have been addressed.

Successful reopening will require all of us to remain vigilant and to act as though we are already infected, so that we reduce the risk of infecting our most vulnerable relatives, neighbors, and community members. We’re all in this together, and we all have a role to play.

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