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Bars near WVU can open Tuesday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that bars around West Virginia University in Morgantown can reopen next Tuesday, a month after images of maskless college students packing bars led them to be shut down.

Police and state alcohol regulators will step up enforcement in the college town, Justice said at a coronavirus press briefing. The Republican governor abruptly ordered Monongalia County bars to close indefinitely on Sept. 2 — just two days after allowing them to reopen — as many patrons lined up without social distancing.

The owners of 12 restaurants and bars sued the governor and local officials in Morgantown last month in federal court over the shutdown.


“Bars that don’t enforce these guidelines, where we see a bunch of people packed in with no mask wearing … you will be shut down again,” Justice said, adding establishments risk having their licenses suspended.

County officials previously required bars to cut indoor seating occupancy by half, close dance floors and discontinue live performances and entertainment. Restaurants in the county had been able to continue dine-in service without operating their bars. Morgantown city officials did not immediately return a request for comment.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close because of lockdown restrictions.

— President Donald Trump says he wants to try to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of people hospitalized in Oklahoma due to the coronavirus surged to a record one-day high of 749 on Friday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The number hospitalized either with the virus or under investigation for infection surpassed the previous high of 738 reported on Wednesday.

The department also reported 1,524 newly confirmed cases of the virus, the second highest daily increase since 1,7,14 new cases were reported on July 21, and 97,088 total cases. There are six additional deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, bringing the total to 1,091. There were 13,515 active cases of the virus on Thursday, and 82,482 people have recoverd, according to the health department.

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NATCHEZ, Miss. — A brother and sister in Natchez have both died of the coronavirus, Adams County Coroner James Lee said.

On Friday, Oct. 2, a 73-year-old woman died of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, and her 69-year-old brother died two days later, Lee told the Natchez Democrat.

“I’ve seen an increase in COVID deaths in Adams County in the past month and it’s very scary to me,” Lee told the Democrat earlier this week. Lee