ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County is adopting Emergency Ordinance 21-E(1), relaxing previous occupancy restrictions to better align with the Executive Order 72 and Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines.
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the order Wednesday, April 7..
Restaurants, bars, wineries, and distilleries can now have 50 people inside and 100 people outside. Gatherings can also have 50 people inside and 100 people outside. Gatherings are not bound to distancing guidelines.
“The big difference is if you’re at a gathering you can all stay intermingled. If you are parties that cumulatively total 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors, you must maintain a minimum of 6 feet difference between your party and your table and another party and their table,” Albemarle Co. Board of Supervisors Chair Donna Price explained.
Masks will still be required indoors. There is one exception to the new guidelines that do not align with the state: those who cannot wear a mask must provide a doctor’s note.
“As part of the advice from the Blue Ridge Health District, the medical standpoint would advise us to do. We think that is a reasonable requirement,” Price said.
Despite the changes, and looser CDC guidelines for schools, the county’s school district will likely not make its own amendments any time soon.
“The earliest that we could see the possibility of how we’ll implement the new CDC guidelines will be when the superintendent makes that recommendation on May 6th. Of course between now and then, that could change,” Phil Giaramita with Albemarle County Public Schools said.
Price said she’s reminding people that these changes do not mean the pandemic is over.
“We are not out of the woods yet from this pandemic. We must get vaccinated, we have to maintain social distancing and we have to take care of each other,” she said.