The curfew will go into effect on December 14 and is scheduled to run through at least the end of January. Northam told reporters on Thursday that everyone other than people traveling to and from work should abide by the curfew. He also urged Virginians to stay home at other times of day unless they must go out.
Northam expanded the state’s mask mandate to include outdoor public spaces where people are within six feet of each other. He also reduced the capacity limit on social gatherings to 10 people – just in time for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations – and said restaurants will have to stop liquor sales by 10pm and close by midnight.
“New daily case numbers are higher than they have been at any previous point in the pandemic, and while the trends in Virginia are better than most of the country, we are taking action now to slow the spread of this virus before our hospitals get overwhelmed,” Northam said.
Virginia reported 21 Covid-19 deaths and nearly 4,400 new infections on Wednesday. The weekly average for new cases has climbed 41 percent in the past two weeks, to more than 3,500.
Also on Thursday, Pennsylvania tightened its Covid-19 restrictions, banning indoor dining and closing theaters, casinos and gyms. Pennsylvania had more than 8,600 new Covid-19 cases reported on Wednesday and 247 deaths. It’s weekly average of nearly 10,000 cases is up 51 percent from late November.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who revealed on Wednesday that he had tested positive for the virus, said the surge in infections necessitated tighter restrictions. “We all hoped that it would not come to this,” Wolf said. “The current state of the surge in Pennsylvania will not allow us to wait.”
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