Charlottesville extends Coronavirus ordinance

Charlottesville extends Coronavirus ordinance
Sign thanking folks for wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic (FILE) (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council voted to extend the current city ordinance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

First enacted in July, the ordinance limits in-person gatherings to 50 people, requires face coverings in public places, and limits occupancy levels at food and drink establishments.

The ordinance is now set to expire at the end of the COVID-19 declaration of emergency.

“We’ve just said, as long as we’re in a state of emergency, this ordinance will be in effect," Charlottesville Director of Communications Brian Wheeler said. "On March 12 we declared a state of emergency related to the pandemic, so this will just continue at this point until that’s over.”

More information about the ordinance and potential penalties can be reviewed on the city’s website

09/21/2020 Release from Charlottesville:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – At its regular meeting held Monday, September 21, 2020, Charlottesville City Council approved an extension of its emergency ordinance which implemented additional regulations to control the spread of COVID-19. Last week, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors met and approved an extension of their similar ordinance.

The city ordinance, initially approved July 27, 2020, contains three main components that augment the Executive Orders issued by Governor Ralph S. Northam since March. First, the ordinance limits in-person attendees at gatherings to fifty. Second, the ordinance requires the use of cloth face coverings in public places with several exceptions. Third, the ordinance limits the indoor occupancy limits at food establishments, microbreweries, microdistilleries, microwineries and small breweries.

Council set the ordinance to expire at the end of the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency, unless otherwise amended by the Charlottesville City Council.

The City of Charlottesville encourages business owners and patrons to continue to comply with this ordinance as well as the Governor’s guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our community. The Charlottesville Police Department will continue to focus on educating the public and businesses about potential violations before taking enforcement actions.

Should the public have any concerns regarding potential violations, they may call the Regional Emergency Communications Center’s non-emergency line at (434) 977-9041.

The specific ordinance requirements and penalties, as approved in July, can be reviewed on the city’s website.

This ordinance is authorized by §14 of the Charlottesville City Charter, which enables the City Council to enact ordinances to “prevent the introduction or spreading of contagious or infectious diseases, and prevent and suppress diseases generally.”

Continued Declaration of Emergency

On March 12, 2020, Dr. Tarron J. Richardson, in his capacity as Director of Emergency Management, declared the potential spread of COVID-19 an emergency pursuant to a Resolution adopted by the Charlottesville City Council. Also on March 12, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order Number Fifty-One (“EO 51”) declaring a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 12, 2020, Governor Northam has issued several more Executive Orders jointly with Orders of Public Health Emergency issued by M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA, State Health Commissioner, pertaining to COVID-19. As of the date of adoption of this ordinance by the City of Charlottesville, “Executive Order Number Sixty-Seven (2020) and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven, Phase Three Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)” (collectively referred to as “EO 67”), which became effective at 12:00 a.m. on July 1, 2020, remains in effect.

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