Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) announced new coronavirus restrictions on Friday that will take effect in Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 15.
Capacity at indoor and outdoor gatherings will be reduced to 25 individuals, a drastic change from the current limit of 250 people. Face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces by individuals aged 5 and over. Previously, the governor's mandate only applied to children aged 10 and over. Alcohol sales must end at 10 p.m. and all food and drink establishments must be closed by midnight.
Additionally, violations of the governor's face covering and social distancing guidelines by essential retail businesses can now be enforced through the Virginia Department of Health as a class 1 misdemeanor.
"COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse," said Governor Northam in a press release. "Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one Commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives."
The state is averaging around 1,500 new cases per day, slightly up from a peak of 1,200 new daily cases in May. According to the governor's office, hospital capacity remains stable while hospitalizations are up over 35 percent in the past four weeks.
More information about the new restrictions can be found here.