As the virus has surged across the country, Virginia announced new measures to deal with COVID-19.
Among the requirements that will take effect at midnight on Sunday, the number of people participating in indoor and outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 250 to 25 years old, and the age at which children must wear masks in indoor public places will be reduced from 10 to 5 years old.
Download the free NBC Washington app for iOS or Android to get the latest local news and weather.
Governor Ralph Northam said at a press conference on Friday: “The COVID-19 is rising rapidly across the country, although the rate of increase in Virginia is not as fast as in some other states, but I don̵
The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday:
- Reduce public and private gatherings: All public and private face-to-face gatherings must be limited to 25 people, and the current limit is 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
- Extended mask authorization: All Virginians aged five and over must wear masks in indoor public places. Implemented in Virginia on May 29, this expands the current mask regulations and requires all individuals 10 years and older to wear a mask in indoor public places.
- Strengthen the law enforcement of basic retail business: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must comply with statewide guidelines for physical grooming, face masks, and enhanced cleanliness. Although certain essential retail businesses have been required to comply with these regulations as best practices, they can now be enforced as a first-class misdemeanor through the Virginia Department of Health.
- On-site alcohol curfew: After 10:00 p.m., it is prohibited to sell, consume and own alcohol in any restaurant, dining venue, food court, brewery, microbrewery, brewery, winery or tasting room. All restaurants, dining venues, food courts, breweries, micro breweries, wineries, breweries and tasting rooms must be closed before midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars. However, under current restrictions, individuals who choose to drink before 10:00 pm must be served at the restaurant and must sit at a table six feet apart.
Northam also shared a new video introducing Virginia residents to other steps taken by the Commonwealth to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
According to officials, Virginia reports an average of 1,500 new COVID-19 cases every day, which is higher than the statewide peak of about 1,200 cases in May.
State officials said that although Virginia’s per capita number of cases and positive rates are still low, new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations are increasing in all five healthy areas.
Northam said: “Everyone is tired of this epidemic and the restrictions on our lives. I am tired, and I know you are tired too.” “But as we saw earlier this year, These mitigation measures have worked. I am confident that we can unite as a Commonwealth country to control this virus and save lives.”
The new measures in Virginia are the latest in a series of rollback measures and enhanced security measures in the region.
Now, the District of Columbia requires travelers in all states except four states to be tested for COVID-19, once before the trip and once if they plan to stay in the district for more than three days.
In Maryland, state officials eased capacity restrictions on indoor dining venues and urged people not to travel to states where the coronavirus is spreading too quickly.
Montgomery County has reduced the production capacity limit of many businesses, including indoor dining, to 25%.The county previously stopped granting alcohol sales exemptions after 10pm
Prince George’s County is tightening restrictions and requiring masks to be worn outdoors.
In Frederick County, Maryland, the Health Commission decided to implement new regulations in the county and Frederick City from 5 pm on Friday to help slow the spread of COVID-19.