Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Northam eases restrictions on the Peninsula, Hampton Roads

WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced the easing of restrictions on the Peninsula and Hampton Roads, citing “significantly improved health metrics.”

“Hampton Roads residents, businesses, and health officials have worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Northam said. “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.”

The region’s targeted COVID-19 restrictions went into effect nearly six weeks ago on July 31 and included a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, a reduction in indoor dining to 50 percent capacity, and a requirement that restaurants close at midnight and stop the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m.

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

As of Sept. 9, the percent positivity rate for polymerase chain reaction tests in the Eastern Region is 6.7 percent and has been decreasing for 12 days, according to the governor’s office.

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.

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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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