As the current Virginia COVID-19 regulations were set to expire on January 31, Governor Northam announced during his Wednesday press conference that they will be extended through the end of February.
Northam said, "This is no time to let down our guard."
The new Executive Order extends the current Virginia policies which are listed in part below:
- Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
- Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
- Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
- Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, 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.
As of Wednesday, Virginia had 488,553 total COVID-19 cases and 6,228 total COVID-19 related deaths. That was 5,227 new cases and 54 additional deaths since Wednesday.
Additionally, North Carolina Governor Cooper also extended regulations on Wednesday. He said that a modified stay-at-home order for the state that was originally scheduled to expire January 29 will be extended until at least February 28. Under the order, North Carolinians are required to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Businesses will be required to close by 10 p.m. and alcohol consumption sales must end at 9 p.m.