Northam eases COVID-19 restrictions in Hampton Roads

Northam eases COVID-19 restrictions in Hampton Roads
Gov. Ralph Northam (Source: Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the Hampton Roads area will join the rest of the state in Phase Three of reopening.

The region has been under more COVID-19 restrictions since July 31 due to increased cases. The restrictions included:

  • 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 impacted localities were the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County and York County.

“Hampton Roads residents, businesses, and health officials have worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Northam. “New cases have dropped by more than half, hospitalizations have declined, and percent positivity has fallen below the statewide average. But we cannot let our guard down—we all must continue practicing social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and following all public health guidelines. If we want to keep moving forward, we must stay vigilant and do the things that we know will keep our communities safe.”

As of Sept. 9, the percent positivity rate is at 6.7 percent and has been decreasing for 12 days. The Hampton Roads region was seeing percent positivity rates between 9.9% to 18.6% when the restrictions went into place at the end of July.

“The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Region has been decreasing for 46 days. Hospitalizations, including COVID-19 intensive care unit hospitalizations, have been declining for approximately three weeks, and the current rate of emergency room admissions is steadily decreasing,” a release said.

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