Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The governor banned gatherings of more than 100. The CDC recommends events of 50 or more be canceled

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)

Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday banned all events in the state with more than 100 people.

Hours later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that gatherings of 50 people or more in nation be canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The dramatic recommendation Sunday night came as Americans struggled to come to terms with how to change their daily habits.

The CDC added that proper precautions should be taken at any event, including making sure people are washing their hands and not getting too close.

But in a sign of the difficulty of striking the right balance, the statement from the CDC also said the recommendation does not apply to “the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.”

James City County became the epicenter of Virginia’s coronavirus outbreak, having the first virus-related death in the state.

Northam strongly urged residents, specifically in the Peninsula, to limit contact with large crowds.

“If you’re planning to go to a restaurant, church or a bar on the Peninsula, I would discourage you from doing so,” Northam said, stopping short of ordering a full statewide quarantine. “These are critical steps to reduce and slow the spread of this virus.” (Story continues below the gallery).

The first death was in James City County — a man in his 70s who acquired COVID-19 through an unknown source. The cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19.

As of Monday, Virginia had 51 people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), Northam said, citing a report from the Virginia Department of Health.

James City County had 10 positive cases, according to VDH’s website Monday. York County has one.

Officials from James City County, Williamsburg, York County, Newport News, Hampton and Poquoson issued a joint statement Saturday night, urging Peninsula residents “to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people. This includes church services, civic/social organization meetings, and public events and festivities.”

Empty shelves greeted shoppers in the Peninsula, as most sought-after items like toilet paper, hand sanitizers and cleaners, were out of stock.

Several store chains modified their hours and are closing early – mostly to disinfect the stores and, for some, re-stock shelves.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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