COVID-19 mitigation efforts for Hampton Roads area go into effect

Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:12 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This week, Governor Ralph Northam announced mitigation efforts to curb COVID-19 numbers in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia which includes Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Norfolk.

“We want to do this as safely and as responsibly about moving forward, but at the same time we know that every time we make decisions it affects people’s lives, it affects their livelihoods,” said Northam.

The eastern part of the state is seeing a high positivity rate in COVID-19 cases.

Northam announced an executive order for the Hampton Roads area that will be effective Friday at 12 a.m. and includes:

  • No alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
  • All restaurants must close by midnight
  • Indoor dining is limited to 50% - this includes breweries, distilleries, wineries and food courts
  • Bans gatherings (indoor and outdoor) of 50 or more people

“The best policy is to stay ahead of the curve when you see numbers trending up and I’ll continue to do that every day,” said Northam.

The Hampton Roads area is seeing percent positivity rates between 9.9% to 18.6%. The statewide rate is 7.3%.

"Our wearing masks will protect others," said Dr. Norm Oliver, Virginia Commissioner of Health. "Their wearing masks will protect us and we will protect each other that way."

Hampton Roads rules could be applied to other parts of the state if numbers change. A somber reminder that virus concerns continue to plague the commonwealth.

"Everyone is questioning what tomorrow will bring. I'm worried that people are starting to lose hope," said Northam.

Gov. Northam is also addressing testing in the commonwealth as well as CARES Act funding for localities.

Virginia received $3.3 billion in CARES ACT funding. At least $200 million went directly to Fairfax County due to the county’s population size. The remaining localities in the state actually split $1.3 billion.

As of June, the state paid out $1.6 billion with an additional $1.1 billion still unallocated.

Northam says the state is getting ready to shell out about $645 million in federal CARES Act dollars to localities.

REWATCH the governor’s Tuesday afternoon briefing here:

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