Governor to announce new COVID-19 restrictions, lockdown not expected

Gov. Ralph Northam
Posted at 4:18 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 14:06:55-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will announce new statewide COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday, according to the governor’s spokesperson.

The restrictions “will be nuanced and in line with our targeted, data-driven response," the spokesperson said.

While the exact nature of the measures is not known, the governor has previously said he would do what it takes to slow the spread.

A source familiar with the plan said a lockdown would not be part of the governor's announcement.

Last month, Northam announced substantial statewide restrictions on gatherings and certain businesses in an effort to slow rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

He previously reduced the state’s cap on gatherings from 250 to 25. He also applied the state’s mask requirement to younger children and prohibited alcohol sales at restaurants after 10 p.m.

Virginia is reporting between 2,500 and 4,500 new cases of COVID-19 a day following the post-Thanksgiving surge.

The statewide positivity rate has been between 10% and 11%.

Neighboring states have already taken action

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has directed many businesses to shut down by 10 p.m. in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Grocery chains and some retail stores that sell groceries will still be allowed to open past 10 p.m.

Bars and restaurants must shut down by that time.

Cooper wants people off the streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. because of a sharp rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state.

North Carolina is hoping to deliver its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to hospital workers next week.

Baltimore's new mayor announces new COVID-19 restrictions

Baltimore's new mayor has announced indoor and outdoor dining will be shut down this week to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland's largest city.

Mayor Brandon Scott made the announcement Wednesday.

The restrictions will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.

Scott also announced that capacity at religious facilities, retail establishments and malls will be limited to 25% maximum capacity.

The announcement came as the leaders of Maryland's seven largest jurisdictions and Scott scheduled an afternoon news conference to urge state residents to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines in their jurisdictions and across the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.