Gov. Northam: No changes on Hampton Roads COVID-19 guidelines until after Labor Day, if case numbers remain down

Posted at 1:32 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:00:12-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Gov. Northam provided an update on Virginia's response to COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

His press conference came ahead of Labor Day Weekend. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer previously asked for some restrictions to be loosened on Virginia Beach as trends in the city have dropped compared to earlier this summer.

Dyer wanted to see alcohol sales be permitted until 11 p.m., instead of 10 p.m. He also has asked for indoor capacity limits on restaurants to be removed, but says they would still need to enforce social distancing.

"Although the number of new cases is declining, it is not yet time to celebrate," Dyer wrote in a letter to Northam.

Virginia Beach's positivity rate is now below Virginia's statewide average, but other areas in Hampton Roads continue to see a high number of cases.

Chesapeake's seven day average is at 12.2-percent. That's much higher than Virginia Beach's 5.8-percent.

During Northam's press conference he said the Eastern Region of Virginia is averaging about 214 new COVID-19 cases per day which is better than July numbers.

Percent positivity for the Eastern Region is also down from 12% in July, to under 9% as of Tuesday.

Northam said no guidelines will be changed until after Labor Day though. He added that thinking back to Memorial Day and July 4 is important because we saw COVID-19 case surges a week to two weeks after those holidays and we don’t want to repeat that, he said.

"Now is the time to double down with what we know is working, so we set ourselves up for success this fall," said Northam.

Northam said if numbers trend in good direction and people follow guidelines we will be able to move Eastern Virginia to be with the rest of the state's guidelines soon after Labor Day.

"The reality is this virus is still alive and well around the Commonwealth of Virginia and we have to continue to practice the guidelines and be vigilant," he said.

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