Governor said decision was made to avoid repeating the spike in cases that occurred after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
RICHMOND-Virginia’s COVID-19 guidelines won’t change during Labor Day weekend. Gov. Ralph Northam made that announcement Tuesday, despite certain regions asking him to loosen the restrictions.
“With a holiday weekend coming up, with back-to-school coming in different forms and with colleges returning, now is the time to double down on what we know is working so we can set ourselves up for success this fall,” said Northam.
Recently, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer requested the governor to lift some of the restrictions in time for the long weekend after seeing a decrease in the city’s previously high positivity rate.
In July, Northam declared a state of emergency in the Tidewater region due to a rapid surge of COVID-19 cases that surpassed any other part of Virginia. Under the order, stricter COVID-19 guidelines were issued across Hampton Roads to prevent further spread of the virus.
In a letter, Dyer asked for alcohol sales to be permitted until 11 p.m. as well as eliminating the limit on indoor dining capacities as long as social distancing was enforced.
However, the governor cited the spike in cases that occurred after previous holiday weekends like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Northam said that the guidelines must remain to avoid repeating these actions.
“If we can avoid these same surges after Labor Day, then we’ll have a running start into the fall,” said the governor.
Virginia Keeps The Virus Contained
Overall, the coronavirus has been moderately contained in the state, with case numbers and the percent positivity data remaining steady. Northam said that if the numbers continue to trend in a similar fashion, the Tidewater Region may have some of their restrictions lifted after the upcoming long weekend.
“If the numbers continue to trend in a good direction and there’s evidence that people are following the safety guidelines over the holiday weekend, we will move Eastern Virginia in line with the rest of the state soon after Labor Day,” said Northam.
However, Gov. Ralph Northam warned Virginians that he’s anticipating the coronavirus pandemic will persist through the fall and winter before a safe vaccination is found. The governor is urging people to practice social distancing, wear a mask and avoid large crowds.
“Be careful this Labor Day weekend. Large gatherings are still not a good idea,” said Northam. “We don’t want to see a spike in cases.”