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Elkins mayor lifts state of emergency

ELKINS — In an order effective April 1, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton is lifting the citywide state of emergency he declared last spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Broughton’s March 17, 2020, citywide emergency declaration did not impose any restrictions on the public and mainly served to enable more flexible internal decision-making within the city government, according to a City of Elkins press release.

With infections surging in some states and just over half of West Virginia counties designated as “green” on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert System map, the end of the state of emergency does not signal the end of the pandemic, the release states.

The City of Elkins has no immediate plans to alter current precautions, including requirements for face coverings and social distancing. Council meetings will continue to be held at the Phil Gainer Community Center through April.

After the declaration of the citywide state of emergency, the only public-facing order subsequently issued by Broughton was a temporary ban on yard sales and door-to-door solicitation. This ban was lifted on May 15, 2020.

Using his powers under the emergency declaration, the mayor ordered several modifications to the city’s internal personnel policies that remain in effect: a COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy, an Extended COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy, and a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. His suspension of a city policy that would have required call-out pay for all work performed by city employees during this state of emergency also expires as of April 1.

Mayors are granted authority for emergency declarations under West Virginia Code 15-5-1. The mayor’s proclamation ending this state of emergency has been posted online and at city hall. It will also be transmitted to the governor’s office and to the office of the Randolph County Commission.

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