Virginia’s new guidelines will take effect at 12:01 am on Monday. The guidelines require restaurants to stop serving alcoholic beverages after 10 pm and close before midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish bars from restaurants, and current restrictions already prohibit bar-style seating.
Northam has also strengthened its law enforcement policies on basic businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, causing it to violate the requirements of wearing masks, social distancing, and hand disinfection, and is classified as a first category misdemeanor. So far, this potential penalty only applies to non-essential businesses.
Northam said through a spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky: “Although our cases have not risen as rapidly as in other states, I don’t want to wait until they rise.” She added: “This is Virginia is really trying to do this.”
The new restrictions also lower the age at which people must wear masks in public places to 5 years old. People aged 10 and over are required to wear a mask.
The Northam announcement marks the first statewide tightening of coronavirus restrictions since Virginia began to relax its guidelines in June. Northam imposed stricter restrictions on Hampton Roads in the summer in response to the surge in infections, but has since removed these restrictions.
In recent weeks, the infection rate in the southwest of the state has risen sharply. Although all health districts in the state are increasing, the positive rate is still over 9%, twice that of some other areas in Virginia.
In Maryland, the infection rate nearly doubled in about two weeks, culminating in a record number of new cases on Friday. The rolling average number of new infections in Maryland for seven consecutive days soared to 1,466, 741 cases per day on October 28.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there were 1,869 new cases on Friday in Maryland, the most in a single day. The number of hospitalizations in the state reached its highest level since June 11.
The Governor of Maryland, Rarry Hogan, this week reintroduced new pandemic-related restrictions-as in multiple jurisdictions across the state-hoping to slow the highly contagious virus that is spreading in Maryland and the entire country . Hogan has said that the state is ready to deal with the surge, but warned that there are more challenges ahead.
Hogan said on Twitter: “The next few weeks and months will be the most difficult thing we face.” “Put on a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance. Keep #MarylandStrong.”
Maryland’s 7-day average case handling volume is expected to exceed that of the populous state of Virginia, which has a long history of more cases. There are an average of 1,499 cases per day in Virginia, a slight decrease from the previous two days.
The United States records every 100,000 people every day for 7 days, an average of 40 new coronavirus cases per day.Despite the surge in infections in the Washington area, the transmission rate in the area is still about half of the national average, with 24 new cases per 100,000 residents in Maryland, and 18 in Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Only four states have lower infection rates than Virginia and the state’s capital: California, Maine, Vermont and Hawaii.
Friday was the tenth consecutive day, and new cases in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia reached record levels on average for seven consecutive days. On Friday, the number was 3,090 cases per day, higher than the 1,313 cases on October 1.
Boris Lushniak, Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, said that with the increase in the number of cases, the Washington area is not only following ethnic trends, but also global trends. He said that the number of cases handled in the United States is usually two to four weeks higher than that in Europe, while the number of cases on the continent has recently surged.
“In Europe, the United States and the DMV region, we have seen the third wave,” said Lusniak, who served as an American associate surgeon from 2010 to 2015. “We have always known that autumn will worsen the situation…”
He blamed the fatigue on following the virus health protocol and the cool weather leading to an increase in cases. Lusniak said the infection rate in the Washington area is generally better than in many parts of the country, but the situation may change.
He said: “We are regressing.” “We are going back to where we were. This will become more serious.”
Lushniak said residents should remain vigilant, especially when the holidays are approaching. He said that in order to avoid stricter restrictions, people need to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and refrain from hosting or attending large gatherings.
He said that refusal to follow those standard health guidelines could lead to “stricter measures” to avoid pressure on the region’s healthcare system.
This surge prompted Maryland and its largest jurisdictions to formulate policies to deal with the spread of the virus this week. Hogan reiterated that state-wide restrictions-local governments can implement more restrictive policies-have not been implemented since the summer.
Baltimore County became the newest place in Maryland on Friday to strengthen its pandemic-related policies. Starting from Tuesday, youth sports activities will be cancelled, while social gathering activities will start on Sunday, with a maximum of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. Bars and restaurants must be closed at midnight.
“Now is the time to take action,” said Baltimore County executive Johnny Olshowski (D). “All of us want to return to normal, we want to live our lives without restrictions, and we want our children to return to school, but unless we do our best, none of this will happen.”
The Frederick County Health Department passed new mask requirements on Thursday night, limiting the size of religious gatherings to 50% of the building’s capacity, and limiting the ceiling for other indoor and outdoor social gatherings and business venues to 25 people or 25 %. Violations may result in fines of more than $250.
Prince George and Anne Arundel County joined Baltimore on Thursday, imposing the strictest restrictions on indoor social gatherings in Maryland, banning indoor dining in groups of more than 10 people, and reducing production capacity in certain retail locations. Prince George’s order will take effect at 5 pm on Sunday. The order also requires residents to wear masks when outdoors unless they exercise vigorously.
The Montgomery County legislator approved an order to limit the number of parties to a maximum of 25 people and reduce the capacity of restaurants and shops from 50% to 25%. Other counties stated that they are considering more severe pandemic-related measures.
With the recent increase in cases, DC has not yet announced new restrictions.
Last Friday, a total of 3263 cases were recorded in the Greater Washington area, including 39 deaths. Virginia increased by 1,235 cases and 27 deaths, Maryland increased by 1,869 cases and 12 deaths, and the District of Columbia increased by 159 cases and no deaths.
Rachel Chason contributed to this report.