Shepherdstown wants to enforce COVID-19 health and safety protocols locally despite lack of mask law

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SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says it doesn’t have to be the law to wear a face mask in the state, but one eastern panhandle town is finding a way to enforce the “mask optional” guideline.

Shepherdstown’s town council has passed a resolution to “strongly encourage” the wearing of masks, citing CDC and Jefferson County Health Department guidelines. Shepherdstown Police Chief Mike King has written local businesses asking them to post their rules on face masks and social distancing at the entrance to their establishments. Patrons who don’t follow the rules may be asked to leave, Chief King explains, and if they don’t, the chief says there will be consequences.

“We would again ask them to put on a mask or leave the business,” says King. “If they refuse to do so that would be considered trespassing and we would warn them as to the trespassing. Unfortunately if it would proceed further there may have to be a trespassing charge placed.”

And King says Shepherdstown is following the West Virginia code and municipal ordinances with its policy.

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