Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that he has lifted extra COVID-19 restrictions in Hampton Roads given an improved health outlook.
“Hampton Roads residents, businesses, and health officials have worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Northam said in a statement.
“New cases have dropped by more than half, hospitalizations have declined, and percent positivity has fallen below the statewide average.”
On July 28, citing a surge in the region’s cases, Northam had announced heightened restrictions for a subset of the state’s eastern region: Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County and York County.
Under the new restrictions, private and public gatherings in the state’s eastern health region were limited to 50 people, compared with the current statewide limit of 250.
All restaurants across the 11 localities had been required to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and to close down for service at midnight, as well as limit the number of patrons to 50% of their capacity.
On Sept. 1, Northam announced the heightened restrictions in Hampton Roads would remain in effect through the Labor Day weekend in an effort to prevent the type of surge in cases the state saw after the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays.
He stressed Thursday that Virginians “cannot let our guard down” and must continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
— Andrew Cain
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