WVU shared information from the City of Morgantown Thursday (Sept. 10) which prohibits parties and social gatherings at residential units in certain areas of the city. Interim City Manager Emily Muzzarelli signed a written order yesterday which went into effect at 12 a.m. today (Sept. 11).
To assist in the prevention of these high-risk house party events, which would likely further the spread of COVID-19 infections, the following public health measures are adopted:
Parties and social gatherings are prohibited at residential units, including their yards or parking lots, in the areas shown on the attached map, which is incorporated into this order by reference. This restriction does not limit residents and their family members from using their residential property, nor does it limit deliveries, maintenance, repairs, or other regular business at these properties. All other nonresidents are prohibited from gathering at these residential units.
Any Assembly Occupancy Permit for a residential property within the areas defined in Paragraph 1, above, is suspended during the effective period of this Order.
Any violation of this Article shall be deemed a public nuisance subject to summary abatement by the Chief of Police, or other law enforcement officer, including the Fire Marshal and deputy fire marshals. In addition, any violation shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no less than $25.00 and no more than $500.00. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
According to a news release from the City, the authorization for the order comes from city council’s approval of Emergency Ordinance 2020-5 on Sept. 1, which authorized the City Manager to further limit the numbers allowed to gather both socially, in private residences, and in eating and drinking establishments if needed.
Since the adoption of Emergency Ordinance 2020-5, the rate of COVID-19 infection in Monongalia County has increased from 17.86 per 100,000 people to 37.33 per 100,000 people, and Monongalia County is now designated “red” on Governor Justice’s County Alert System. The increase in infections has coincided with numerous reports of large student gatherings failing to observe mask requirements and social distancing protocols.