Gov. Northam is urging Virginians to stay home this Thanksgiving

Governor called staying home ‘an act of love’

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RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday urged Virginians to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, saying it would be “an act of love” to help keep people safe amid steadily rising coronavirus cases.

If people must get together, Northam said, they should keep gatherings small and celebrate outside.

“Let’s not make this winter any worse than it has to be,” Northam, the nation’s only governor who is also a doctor, said at a news conference.

Watch Northam’s full Wednesday news conference below:

The Democratic governor’s comments come a few days after he announced substantial new statewide restrictions on gatherings and certain businesses in an effort to slow rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The state’s cap on gatherings will be reduced from 250 people to 25, the mask requirement will be applied to younger children, the number of spectators allowed at athletic events will be reduced, and alcohol sales will be prohibited at dining and drinking establishments after 10 p.m.

The changes come as the coronavirus is surging across the U.S. at what experts say is an alarming pace. Newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. are shattering records at nearly every turn.