MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Parties and other social gatherings are now banned in areas of Morgantown covering the West Virginia University downtown campus and neighborhoods where university students typically live.
Interim-City Manager Emily Muzzarelli signed the order Thursday prohibiting parties at residential units, yards or parking lots in neighborhoods such as Sunnyside, Falling Run Road, North High Street and North Willey Street. The restrictions do not limit residents and their families from using their property, nor does not apply to deliveries, maintenance, repairs or other regular business. All other nonresidents are prohibited from gathering at residences.
We appreciate and fully support measures taken by the City of Morgantown to reduce COVID-19 spread in our community. The order prohibiting parties and gatherings in designated areas is a necessary step to lower the positivity rate and make our county a safer, healthier place. https://t.co/qv7CDicLUo
— E. Gordon Gee (@gordongee) September 10, 2020
WVU President Gordon Gee applauded the city order in a tweet Thursday night.
“We appreciate and fully support the measure taken by the city of Morgantown to reduce COVID-19 spread in our community,” Gee said in a tweet.
The order comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Monongalia County, mainly fueled by cases among the WVU student population. Monongalia County is the only county in the “red” category on the Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert System Map, forcing the county to begin the school year with remote learning and cancelling all extra-circular activities.
Students at bars and off-campus parties caught the attention of university officials earlier this week. WVU announced suspensions of 29 students Sunday evening after reports of parties, particularly at fraternities not officially recognized by the university.
Nearly all classes at WVU were shifted to online courses on Monday to reduce contact between WVU students. Officials remain hopeful they will be able to resume in-person classes later this month.
Violators of the order could be fined up to $500.