This week West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued Executive Order 14-20 ordering all individuals who are travelling from areas with substantial community spread of COVID-19 to isolate for a period of 14 days upon entry to West Virginia, or for the duration of their visit to West Virginia if that visit is less than 14 days (with limited exceptions to seek food and medical attention).
The new isolation order does not apply to (i) any commercial activity, including without limitation commercial trucking activities, (ii) individuals who commute into or out of the state for work, (iii) persons performing any emergency, health, military, or infrastructure response activities necessitating travel into the State, or persons otherwise engaged in and traveling for Essential Businesses and Operations under the terms of the Governor’s prior Executive Order (Executive Order 9-20).
The Executive Order further authorizes the West Virginia State Police, as permitted by law, to monitor the state roads and highways for travel from areas with substantial community spread of COVID-19 (with similar exceptions for commercial activity as are applicable to the isolation order).
Failure to comply with Executive Order 14-20, or the obstruction of law enforcement officials that are acting to enforce the terms of the Executive Order, is declared to be a misdemeanor and violators are subject to fine or imprisonment.
To minimize the chance of any business interruptions or criminal charges, companies should consider policies that require essential employees (especially those with out of state license plates) to carry identification at all times and the contact information of a company representative that can verify the identity of employees and the essential nature of their work and travel.
Lewis Glasser is working with clients engaged in Essential Businesses and Operations who are restructuring operations and preparing for the possibility of further restrictions on movement within West Virginia. Please reach out if you have any questions regarding the application of recent Executive Orders restricting movement or with any other questions about how COVID-19 is impacting your business.
Matthew R. Bowles
Lewis Glasser PLLC
(O) 304.345.2000 (Ext. 1039) / (D) 304.414.9001
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