Mask Mandate Once Again In Effect For Greenbrier County

On Friday, September 17, the Greenbrier County Health Department reinstated the countywide mask mandate for all indoor public spaces. Once ordered, the mandate took effect immediately.

According to the statement released by the Health Department Friday, “The indoor mask mandate is as follows:

Any individual, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth and nose while inside any building open to the public except for:

  • Children under the age of two
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or a valid medical reason
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

All businesses or organizations that invite the public into their facilities shall require compliance with this mandate. They shall:

  • Post adequate signage
  • Implement this mandate on their premises

This mandate does not apply to:

  • Outdoor spaces
  • One’s residence
  • When individuals can physically isolate in a physically separated office or other space when no others are present
  • When actively engaged in the consumption of food and/or beverage”.

Dr. Drema Hill, vice-chairman of the Greenbrier County Board of Health said: “Greenbrier County health workers and facilities have become overwhelmed with the rise in COVID cases in recent weeks and we feel it is our duty to respond.”

The Health Department’s mandate is nearly identical to the restrictions imposed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice through executive order in 2020, restrictions which were subsequently removed last June. However, with the recent increase in COVID-19 infections, particularly the much more contagious Delta variant, many municipalities across the state are issuing similar mandates. While West Virginia State Code affords health departments jurisdiction to issue such a mandate, it also requires county commissions to vote on whether or not they will uphold the mandate within 30 days. This has seemingly put the Greenbrier County Commission in a rather precarious position.

“The other members of the county commission and I take our responsibility of protecting the residents of Greenbrier County very seriously,” said Lowell Rose, Greenbrier County commission president. “It is also our duty to protect the rights of citizens in this county, and we will review the mandate, its effects on business, visitors and the health of residents of this great county we live in.”

Greenbrier County Commissioner Tammy Tincher stated: “We value the opinion and work of the Greenbrier County Board of Health, and look forward to working together as we review the mask mandate. We want to review statistics, speak with affected business owners and make the best decision possible for our constituents.”

The West Virginia Daily News will provide updates regarding the Greenbrier County indoor mask mandate as additional details are made available.

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