Gov. Northam leaps to stop the spread COVID-19

Governor Northam announced on Friday, November 13 new guidelines to manage the spread of the virus in Virginia and those guidelines will go into effect at midnight on Sunday, November 15. While the Commonwealth’s case count, the average per person and positivity rate, remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.

Governor Northam announced that all Virginians that are ages five and up are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must follow the statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to follow these regulations as a best practice, violations to not follow the guidelines will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.

Darrah Young (12) said, “I honestly think Northam’s updates will not be followed by the people of Virginia. Not only have they kept us inside, restricting business in the area, but they have hurt our mental mindset. Slowly, people are ignoring more and more of the restrictions thus implementing meaningless policies. Making masks legal and the lack of one a class one misdemeanor ( if I’m not mistaken) is ridiculous. What’s next? Cops in the street forcing them onto your face as if we are in a Chinese Regime? They may stop the spread of followed but at some point we must address the economic crisis. I believe that American people should have the right to choose how they handle their personal health.”

The Governor also stated an on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law recognizes restaurants and bars as the same thing, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must remain seated at tables six feet apart.

Caleb Bauer (12) said, “I believe that the guidelines limiting gatherings to 25 people is a good idea. However, I don’t see the point in stopping alcohol sales at 10 p.m. and closing all restaurants at midnight. The governor allows the same number of people for events at 25 for outdoor and indoor events, but I think there should be more people allowed because it doesn’t spread anywhere near as fast.”

The governor also revised the public and private in-person gathering guideline that was placed on Friday, May 29. Stating all public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This also includes outdoor and indoors settings.