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Modified stay-at-home order, stricter mask mandate and new gathering restrictions start in Virginia on Monday

Gov. Northam announced the new restrictions on Thursday to prevent Virginia’s rising cases

Gov. Ralph Northam is continuing his efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, the following mandates will be in place:

  • A daily curfew will be issued requiring most Virginians to stay at home between midnight to 5 a.m. The modified stay-at-home order will have exceptions, including for Virginians commuting to or from work or seeking medical attention.
  • There will be an expanded and stricter mask mandate required, which includes wearing masks in outdoor areas where social distancing isn’t possible as well as all indoor areas shared with others besides when you’re in your own household. This differs from the current mask mandate required only that masks be worn in indoor public settings.
    • This mask mandate doesn’t apply to children under age five.
  • All public gatherings will be reduced from 25 people to just 10 people following the rise in cases after Thanksgiving.
    • At high school sporting events, Northam is only allowing 25 people per field for indoor sports as well as only two guests per player for outdoor sports. The governor suggested that schools consider moving indoor sports to an outdoor setting.
  • Northam said Virginia’s limit on capacity in restaurants will remain the same: bars will be closed, no alcohol sales after 10 p.m., there must be at least six-feet in between tables, wear a mask if you’re not eating and all restaurant employees must wear a mask. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries and tasting rooms must close by midnight.

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

“I want everyone to understand this upfront. We don’t want to extend this, but we might have to. It all depends on what the virus is doing next month, and that depends on what you do right now.” said Northam. “If the virus starts to come under control, we may be able to loosen up, but if not, we may have to take further action.”

The executive order will stay in place through the end of January.

WATCH NORTHAM’S FULL ADDRESS BELOW:

Gov. Ralph Northam is set to give an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.