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Legal Alert

West Virginia Governor Orders Shelter in Place and Business Closures


Effective March 24, 2020 at 8:00 p.m., all West Virginia residents are ordered to “stay home” and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. Pursuant to Executive Order 9-20, Governor Jim Justice ordered all West Virginians to stay at home unless performing an “essential activity.” The Order remains in effect until Governor Justice terminates it by subsequent executive action.

What is an essential activity?

The Order permits West Virginians to leave home to engage in essential activities.  Essential activities include:

What does this mean for Essential Businesses?

Essential employers may continue to operate.  Under Executive Order 9-20, the following businesses, industries, and workers are essential:

What does this mean for non-essential businesses?

All non-essential businesses must temporarily cease operations, except to conduct “minimum basic operations as necessary” to:

Home-based businesses can continue to operate. Additionally, other small businesses that do not invite the general public but have five or fewer employees can continue operations if the business ensures that proper social distancing and hygiene.

All places of “public amusement,” including carnivals, zoos, museums, fairs, pool halls, malls, playgrounds, bowling alleys, theaters, and similar venues shall be closed. The Order further prohibits any gatherings of more than 10 people unless otherwise exempt by the Order.


We will continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ alert system to gather the most up-to-date information. For further information or advice on how to satisfy notice requirements as an employer, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, or any member of our COVID-19 Taskforce. You can also review our Comprehensive And Updated FAQs For Employers On The COVID-19 Coronavirus or our FP COVID-19 Resource Center.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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