Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that he will be issuing an executive order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads, citing “a significant shift toward younger people testing positive” due to “increased socialization with non-household members”.
The Hampton Roads region includes Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and surrounding areas.
Under this order, the following will take effect in Hampton Roads at 12 am this Friday:
- No alcohol will be sold or consumed on site after 10 pm, and all restaurants must be closed by midnight. This effectively closes all bars.
- Indoor dining will be limited to 50% capacity, along with food courts, breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
- Public and private social gatherings of more than 50 individuals are prohibited. This includes parties indoors and outdoors.
“Alcohol changes your judgment,” Northam said. “You just don’t care as much about social distancing after you’ve had a couple of drinks. That’s when the virus gets spread, and that’s why we’re taking this action.”
The governor also announced the distribution of the second half of federal CARES Act money — almost 645 million dollars — to Virginia localities. This can be used to cover rent assistance, eviction protection, food security, PPE, and education.
“We have a path forward. We can put this pandemic behind us, but it’s going to take all of us,” Northam concluded. “We want our children back in school, we want our businesses to reopen. But we have to diminish the numbers of COVID-19 in our communities in order to do that.”
Latest COVID-19 numbers:
- 922 new cases were reported Monday. Virginia has been averaging 900 to slightly over 1000 cases daily, although this reached 1500 in the past few days.
- 20,138 new tests were also recorded, bringing the total to 1,159,724.