RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday announced substantial new statewide restrictions on gatherings and certain businesses in an effort to slow rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Question: If masks actually work, why aren’t they, well, working?
The state’s cap on gatherings will be reduced from 250 people to 25, the state’s mask requirement will be applied to younger children, the number of spectators allowed at athletic events will be reduced, and alcohol sales will be prohibited at dining and drinking establishments after 10 p.m., the Democratic governor’s office said in a news release. Those and other new restrictions will take effect Sunday at midnight.
The following restrictions will go into effect on Sunday, November 15:
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, down from the current limit of 250
- Virginia’s mask mandate will be expanded for indoor public spaces to Virginians ages five and over (the previous mandate set in May was for ages 10 and over)
- All essential retail business (grocery stores, pharmacies) must adhere to face covering and social distancing guidelines and violations can now be enforced through the Virginia Department of Health as a class 1 misdemeanor
- Alcohol sales will be cut off at 10 p.m. at restaurants, breweries, wineries, etc. and all establishments must close at midnight
Virginia still has over 3,100 hospital beds available for potential COVID-19 patients.
Northam also encouraged families to celebrate Thanksgiving outdoors this year.