Virginia will reinstate some restrictions in the Hampton Roads area as it is hit hard by the coronavirus. The current restrictions in Northern Virginia will remain but the governor said officials will let the virus data guide them.
The restrictions for Hampton Roads go into effect Thursday at midnight.
Restaurants in Hampton Roads will need to close at midnight, instead of 2 a.m., and must stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m., Gov. Ralph Northam said. Alcohol changes judgment, Northam said, which can lead to people making bad decisions about taking precautions like social distancing.
“That’s when the virus gets spread,” Northam said.
Indoor seating will be rolled back to 50% of capacity.
The maximum size of gatherings will be 50 people, down from 250. People will be encouraged to wear masks.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
“This is about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads,” Northam said. “It happens when too many people gather together, when too many people are non-compliant and, as I’ve said before, when too many people are selfish.”
The test positivity rate is stable in four of the five regions of the state, Northam said.
“We are concerned about Hampton Roads and the peninsula,” he said.
A team from FEMA visited the region and was pleased with work being done to address the spread, Northam said.
The governor has been in touch with mayors and other officials there and said enforcement will be stepped up through the Health Department, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority and other agencies.
The Virginia Department of Health includes probable cases in its county-level data. For the state total NBC Washington is only including confirmed cases.