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Repealed. Acts, 1977 Reg. Sess., Ch. 102.

§16-6-2. Regulations by state board of health Should this be Secretary of the Department of Health and ; enforcement of orders and laws respecting pure food.

The West Virginia board of health shall make such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as in their judgment are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article. The director of the state department of health shall enforce any orders made by the board of health and any laws of the state respecting pure food, so far as they relate to hotels and restaurants.

§16-6-3. Hotel and restaurant defined; hotels and restaurants not subject to provisions of article.

For the purpose of this article, every building where food and lodging are usually furnished to guests and payment required therefor shall be deemed a hotel, and every place where food without lodging is usually furnished to guests and payment required therefor shall be deemed a restaurant. But the provisions of this article, except those of sections twenty and twenty-two, shall not apply to any hotel wherein there are fewer than ten bed chambers, nor to any hotel known as a "summer hotel" which is not open for guests from November fifteenth to May fifteenth. The provisions of this article shall not apply to temporary food sales, not exceeding two weeks in length, by religious, educational, charitable or nonprofit organizations.

§16-6-4. Application for inspection of hotel or restaurant; temporary permit; certificate of inspection; fee.

Every person, firm or corporation proposing to operate a hotel or restaurant shall apply to the director of health for an inspection and certificate thereof, and said inspector shall inspect the premises described in such application as soon thereafter as may be practicable; but if it be impracticable to do so within ten days after receiving such application, said director may issue to such applicant a temporary permit which shall be valid until a regular inspection is made. Only one certificate or permit shall be issued where a hotel and restaurant are combined and operated in the same building and under the same management. Each certificate or permit shall expire on June 30 next following its issuance, and no hotel or restaurant shall be maintained and operated in this state without the certificate of inspection thereof as herein prescribed, which certificate shall be posted in the main public room of such hotel or restaurant, and shall show the date of each inspection and the notations relating thereto by the director of health. No such certificate shall be transferable. The fee for such inspection and certificate or permit shall be, for a hotel, $2.25 additional for each bedroom in excess of seven; and for a restaurant, $2.25 additional for each five chairs or stools, or spaces where persons are fed, in excess of ten, but no fee shall exceed $10. Such director shall, on the first of each month, pay into the State Treasury all fees collected for inspections during the preceding month. Every certificate of inspection or permit under this article shall be made and issued in duplicate.

§16-6-5. Form and content of application for inspection; payment of fee.

The applicant for inspection of a hotel or restaurant shall file with the department of health a written application, in form to be prescribed by the director of health, which shall set forth the name and address of the owner of the building or property to be occupied, and of the agent of any such owner; the name and address of the lessee and manager, if any, of the hotel or restaurant; the location of such hotel or restaurant and a full description of the building or property to be occupied and such other matters as may be required by the director of health. The fee for inspection shall be paid to the director of health when the application is filed by him

§16-6-6. Contents of certificate and permit; posting.

Every such certificate shall show that the hotel or restaurant is equipped and conducted according to law, and shall be kept posted in some conspicuous place in such hotel or restaurant. Every such permit shall show, according to the fact, why it is granted, and that the hotel or restaurant is, according to law, permitted to be kept, and it shall be kept posted in like manner.

§16-6-7. Certificate or permit prerequisite to license.

No license to keep a hotel or restaurant, or certificate for such license, shall hereafter be authorized or issued unless there be first filed with the county commission to which application therefor is made, a certificate of inspection or permit, granted by the director of health, as provided in this article. Every such license shall bear on its face a reference to such certificate of inspection or permit.

§16-6-8. Annual inspection of hotels and restaurants; powers and duties of director of health.

The director of health shall inspect or cause to be inspected, at least once annually, every hotel and restaurant in the state. For that purpose he or any person designated by him shall have the right of entry and access at any reasonable time to inspect kitchens where food is prepared, pantry and storage rooms pertaining thereto, dining rooms, lunch counters, and every place where articles pertaining to the serving of the public are kept or prepared. The said director shall prohibit the use of any article not in keeping with cleanliness and good sanitary conditions. He shall also have the right to enter any and all parts of a hotel at all reasonable hours to make such inspection, and every person in the management or control thereof shall afford free access to every part of the hotel and render all assistance necessary to enable the director to make full, thorough and complete examination thereof, but the privacy of any guest in any room occupied by him shall not be invaded without his consent.

§16-6-9. Alterations and changes by owner; penalty for refusal or failure to make.

Whenever, upon such inspection, it shall be found that any such hotel or restaurant is not equipped or operated in the manner and under the conditions required by the provisions of this article, the director of health shall notify the owner, manager or agent in charge of such hotel or restaurant of such changes or alterations as, in the judgment of the director, may be necessary to effect a complete compliance with said provisions. Such owner, manager or agent shall thereupon make such alterations or changes as may be necessary to put such buildings and premises in a condition, and operate it in a manner, that will fully comply with the requirements of this article: Provided, That due time after receiving such notice shall be allowed for conforming to the requirements thereof, which time shall be specified in the notice. Should the changes or alterations directed by such notice not be made in the time specified therein, the said director shall proceed against the person or persons in default in any court having jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this article against him or them. Every person, firm or corporation which shall fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined $5 for each and every day such failure or refusal may continue. If such failure or refusal shall continue for thirty days after the time specified in the notice from the director for conforming to the requirements thereof, the director may proceed in the circuit court of the county wherein such hotel or restaurant is located, for an order closing it. After such order is issued, the building or property shall not again be used as a hotel or restaurant until a certificate or permit therefor shall have been issued by the director, and any disobedience of such order may be punished as other contempts of court. Reasonable notice shall be given of the application for such order.

§16-6-10. Notices by director of health.

All notices given under this article shall be in writing and shall either be delivered in person or sent by registered mail.

§16-6-11. Lighting; plumbing; ventilation.

Every hotel and restaurant in this state shall be properly lighted by day and by night, shall be properly plumbed and ventilated, and shall be conducted in every department with strict regard for the health, comfort and safety of its guests. Such proper plumbing and draining shall be done and maintained according to approved sanitary principles. Such proper ventilation shall be construed to require at least one door and one window in every sleeping room, which window shall permit easy access to the outside of the building, light well or court. No room shall be used as a sleeping room which does not open to the outside of the building or light wells, air shafts or courts.

§16-6-12. Water closets.

In every city, town or village where a system of waterworks and sewerage is maintained for public use, every hotel therein shall be equipped with suitable water closets for the accommodation of guests, which water closets shall be connected by proper plumbing with such sewer system, and so constructed that they may be flushed with water in such manner as to prevent sewer gas or effluvia arising therefrom. All lavatories, bathtubs, sinks, drains, closets and urinals in such hotels shall be furnished and equipped in similar manner.

§16-6-13. Privies.

In all cities, towns and villages not having a system of waterworks and sewerage, every hotel shall have properly constructed privies or vaults to receive the night soil, which privies and vaults shall be kept clean and well-screened at all times and free from filth of every kind. The privies shall have separate compartments for each sex, each compartment being properly designated.

§16-6-14. Washrooms; towels.

All hotels in this state shall be provided with a general washroom convenient and of easy access to guests, and in each bedroom and general washroom there shall be furnished for each registered guest clean, individual towels, of cotton or linen, so that no two or more registered guests will be required to use the same towel, unless it has first been washed. Such individual towel shall not be less than twelve inches wide and eighteen inches long after being washed.

§16-6-15. Beds and floor coverings.

Every hotel shall provide each bed, bunk, cot, or other sleeping place for the use of guests with pillow slips and under and top sheets, the under sheet to be of sufficient size to completely cover the mattress and springs, and the top sheet to be of like width and at least ninety-nine inches long and not to be less than ninety inches in length after having been laundered. Such sheets and pillow slips shall be made of white cotton or linen, and all such sheets and pillow slips, after being used by one guest, shall be washed and ironed before being used by another guest, a clean set being furnished each succeeding guest. All bedding, including mattresses, quilts, blankets, pillows, and all carpets and floor covering used in any hotel in this state, shall be thoroughly aired, disinfected and kept clean.

§16-6-16. Bedbugs.

In every hotel, any room infected with vermin or bedbugs shall be fumigated, disinfected and renovated until said vermin or bedbugs are extirpated.

§16-6-17. Employment of person having communicable disease.

No person, firm or corporation engaged in conducting a hotel or a restaurant shall knowingly have in its employ any person who has an infectious or communicable disease.

§16-6-18. Disinfection of rooms and beds; penalty.

Every person keeping or conducting a hotel shall see that every room or bed, which has been occupied by any person known to have an infectious or communicable disease at the time of such occupancy, is thoroughly disinfected by methods to be prescribed by the West Virginia board of health before such room or bed shall be occupied by any other person. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $300, and to confinement in jail not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of the court.

§16-6-19. Hallways; fire escapes.

Whenever it shall be proposed to erect a building three stories or more in height, intended for use as a hotel in this state, it shall be the duty of the owner or proprietor of such hotel to construct the same so that one main hallway on each floor above the ground floor shall run to an opening in the outside wall of the building. Every building used as a hotel shall comply with the provisions of this code pertaining to fire escapes. All fire escapes shall be indicated by a red light and a placard in each hallway leading to such fire escapes.

§16-6-20. Knotted rope or other fire escape in rooms; exception.

Each keeper of a hotel in this state shall provide and keep constantly in each room of the hotel, above the second floor, a knotted rope, wire ladder or other proper fire escape of sufficient strength and length, strongly attached or fastened to some outside window in said room, by which any person or persons in any of the rooms in such buildings may escape from the windows in case of fire: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to any hotel that has a regular and proper fire escape, connected with each hall in said hotel.

§16-6-21. Fire extinguishers.

Every hotel shall be provided with one fire extinguisher, of style and size approved by the national board of fire underwriters, on each floor containing twenty-five hundred square feet of floor area; and one additional fire extinguisher on each floor for each additional twenty-five hundred square feet of floor area, or fraction thereof. Every such extinguisher shall be placed in a convenient location in the public hallway, outside of sleeping rooms, at or near the head of stairs, and shall always be in condition for use.

§16-6-22. Liability of hotel or restaurant keeper for loss of property; deposit of valuables.

It shall be the duty of the keepers of hotels and restaurants to exercise due care and diligence in providing honest servants and employees, and to take every reasonable precaution to protect the persons and property of their guests and boarders, but no such keeper of any hotel or restaurant shall be held liable in a greater sum than $250 for the loss of any wearing apparel, baggage or other property, not hereinafter mentioned, belonging to a guest or boarder, when such loss takes place from the room or rooms occupied by said guest or boarder; and no keeper of a hotel or restaurant shall be held liable for any loss on the part of any guest or boarder of jewelry, money or other valuables of like nature, provided such keeper shall have posted in a conspicuous place in the room or rooms occupied by such guest or boarder, and in the hotel office and public reception room of such hotel or restaurant, a notice stating that jewelry, money and other valuables of like nature must be deposited in the office of such hotel (or restaurant), unless such loss shall take place from such office after such deposit.

§16-6-22a. Sulfite use warning.

Any establishment regulated pursuant to this article utilizing sulfites as a preservative on salad bars shall prominently display a public notice in the following words:

"NOTICE TO PERSONS USING SALAD BAR: This establishment applies sulfites as a preservative on items in the salad bar."

The state director of health is responsible for administering this section. He may delegate the duties to any county boards of health or combined local boards of health.

The state health department shall publish standards for such notices, assuring a uniform size and color of the notices to be purchased by the owner of any such establishment.

§16-6-23. Offenses.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall operate a hotel or a restaurant in this state, or who shall let a building to be used for such purposes, without first having complied with the provisions of this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined $5 for each day such failure to comply shall continue.

§16-6-24. Prosecution.

The prosecuting attorney of each county in this state is hereby authorized and required, upon complaint under oath of the director of health, or other person or persons, to prosecute to termination before any court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the state, a proper action or proceeding against any person or persons violating the provisions of this article.



Acts, 1988 Reg. Sess., Ch. 66.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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