CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday instituted a mandatory face mask order for indoor spaces after the state reported record numbers of new coronavirus cases over the weekend.
The Republican’s executive order, which goes into effect at midnight, requires everyone over the age of 9 to wear face coverings inside buildings when social distancing isn’t possible.
Confirmed virus cases in the state have risen 30% in the last two weeks.
State health officials have urged residents to wear masks, but the governor had previously said a mask mandate would be politically divisive and difficult to enforce. On Monday, he said he could wait no longer.
According to the census, nearly 1.8 million people live in West Virginia.