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At his press conference today Governor Northam announced more restrictions on the Hampton Roads area of the state. While the rest of the state has a relatively low percentage of positive COVID cases, the rate in Hampton Roads has risen to 10.8%, compared to 5.7% in NOVA and 6.8% in Central Virginia. Overall the state average for the last 7 days is relatively flat at 7.3%.
The Governor said, “This is about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads. It happens when too many people gather together … when too many people are selfish.”
The Governor largely blamed the increase on young people, drinking, and ‘backyard barbeques’. He is instituting new restrictions that will cover Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, as well as York and James City counties. The rules are:
- No alcohol may be served after 10:00 pm, because “alcohol changes your judgment” and this rule“effectively closes the bars”.
- Restaurants must close at midnight and be limited to 50% capacity inside.
- No parties, indoors or out, with more than 50 people.
Northam said he would re-evaluate the restrictions in 2 or 3 weeks and would add them to other areas of the state if COVID-19 rates begin to rise as they have in Hampton Roads.