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WATCH: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gives first coronavirus update in nearly 3 weeks

Governor spoke at 2 p.m.

Gov. Northam gives an update on coronavirus in Virginia
Gov. Northam gives an update on coronavirus in Virginia (WSLS)

RICHMOND, Va. – It’s been a while, but Gov. Ralph Northam gave an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon.

Northam last gave an update on June 25.

As of Tuesday, there are 72,443 coronavirus cases in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Across the state, 1,977 people have died.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]

Since July 1, Virginia has been in Phase Three of reopening.

Northam said that while the whole state is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases, he addressed a spike in case in the Hampton Roads area.

The governor cited people socializing without masks, either at parties or restaurants and bars. Because of this, Northam urged businesses to enforce a “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service” policy. Northam also said that for businesses that don’t enforce social distancing and masks, their licenses could be on the line.

As cases continue to rise, Northam said reopening guidelines could change.

According to the governor, cases within the 20-29 age group have increased by 250%. Because of this, Northam says he has asked Hampton Roads health officials for advice on how to combat the rise within that age group and says he is currently reviewing the plans.

Norm Oliver, Virginia Department of Health Director, says he has sent a letter to local health directors telling them to enforce social distancing guidelines and mask requirements. Oliver says this enforcement is especially important for restaurants and bars.

As far as schools go, Northam said he would ideally like to see students back in the classroom fulltime, but that won’t happen if the state cannot stay in Phase 3. The governor advised school districts to be prepared to shift plans based on data in their localities.

The governor said he does not have his next press conference scheduled.


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