West Virginia

Updated: May 8, 2020

Executive Order 32-20 permits many businesses in the State to resume operations. Small businesses that have 10 or fewer employees and have approximately 50 or fewer customers per day may reopen to the public. Such businesses include flower shops, furniture stores, and small clothing stores. Restaurants may reopen for outdoor dining. Personal grooming services may reopen if certain protocols set forth in the order are followed. Places of amusements, however, must remain closed. All business that remain open, except for personal grooming services, must adhere to social distancing guidelines.


Executive Summary

West Virginia Executive Order No. 9-20 requires (1) all individuals within the State to stay at home unless performing an essential activity and (2) non-essential businesses to temporarily cease operations.  Essential Businesses and Operations, however, shall continue to operate.  The order references the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list and also identifies additional industries and businesses that are specifically included as essential businesses and operations under the order.

Summary of Order

  • Issued on March 23, 2020.
  • The order is effective as of March 24, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. and remains in effect “until terminated by subsequent executive order.”
  • All businesses and operations in the State, except those on the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list or other enumerated Essential Businesses and Operations, are required to cease activities within the State.
  • In addition to those listed on the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list, the order lists essential businesses and operations:
    • Healthcare, public health operations, and health insurance companies
    • Grocery stores and pharmacies
    • Food, beverage, and agriculture
    • Essential government functions
    • Human services organizations and childcare facilities and providers
    • Essential infrastructure
    • Coal mining and coal-fired electric generation facilities
    • Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
    • Transportation and travel related businesses and gas stations
    • Financial and insurance institutions
    • Hardware and supply stores
    • Critical trades
    • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
    • Religious entities
    • Educational institutions
    • Laundry services
    • Supplies to work from home
    • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations
    • Home-based care and services
    • Residential facilities and shelters
    • Professional services
    • Media and first amendment protected speech
    • Hotels and motels
    • Funeral services

Social Distancing Requirements

  • For purposes of the order, social distancing means staying home whenever possible and otherwise maintaining a six feet distance from other individuals.
  • Businesses operating within the CISA critical sectors should take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing recommendations, including:
    • Designate six-foot distances.
    • Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
    • Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers.
    • Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.


  • The order indicates that it may be enforced by State and local law enforcement and by state and local and regulatory and/or licensing bodies under West Virginia law.  
  • Notwithstanding the above, the State separately indicates on its official website that “[l]aw enforcement officials will not stop residents on their way to or from work or from obtaining essential services as outlined above, including recreation. People gathering in any size group will be asked to social distance or go home. The West Virginia National Guard will not be involved in enforcing any Stay-at-Home order.”


Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):

  • Healthcare / Public Health
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
  • Hygiene Products and Services