Marion County holds off on enforcing punishment for not wearing a mask in public

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Some counties throughout West Virginia have decided to enforce fines and citations to those who refuse to follow mask mandated guideline. Marion County officials decided that for now, they plan on holding off on this type of enforcement.

The county commission, health department and sheriff’s department in Marion County have been working together tightly since the beginning of the pandemic to make sure they are doing what is right for the overall health of the county. Director of Marion County Health Department Lloyd White said they want to give people more time to comply on their own before they start handing out fines.

“Honestly I can tell you I’m really concerned about the numbers. We see the numbers going up daily, we see the age demographic change to a younger population, while also including the same demographic as before,” said White. “Clearly we’re going in the wrong direction. I can tell you at this point in time, all options are on the table for us at this point. We have got to do whatever we have to do to decrease the risk of transmission, thereby saving lives.”

White said although they haven’t decided to enforce penalties the idea is still in the back of their minds. Sheriff Jimmy Riffle said they are willing and prepared to do whatever is asked of them by the county, to keep the citizens safe.

“Of course if we are charged as a law enforcement agency with issuing any sort of citations or fine, or things of that nature, of course we will do whatever were mandated to do,” said Riffle. “As far as right now, we’re just hoping everybody continues to wear the masks, practice the social distancing, wash your hands, do all you can to help try to combat this thing. That way we don’t have to even go there.”

The Marion County Health Department is planning on holding another free COVID-19 testing day on August 1, in Palatine Park, but it is still tentative.

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