Governor Ralph Northam announces upcoming changes in COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — “It’s important for everyone to have that opportunity to get vaccinated because that is the only way we put this pandemic behind us,” said Governor Ralph Northam during a press briefing on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, March 23, the Virginia Governor says the Commonwealth will be easing COVID-19 restrictions for social gatherings and entertainment venues.

Starting April 1, social gatherings may now have up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Entertainment venues will be able to operate at 30 percent with a 500 person cap. Outdoor capacity will now be able to have up to 30 percent.

When it comes to sporting events, the number of spectators will increase to 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors. Masks and social distancing will still be required at this time.

“To be very clear, we are not simply throwing the doors open, or as Dr. Fauci said this morning, we don’t want to just flip a switch,” said Northam. “These are measured changes. We still have a strict gathering limit.”

Governor Northam also says starting next week, the state can expect to see another 48,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. He expects vaccine eligibility will be opened within weeks to anyone who wants a dose.

“It really depends on Virginians. If we continue to be careful, wearing our mask in public, washing our hands, keeping our distance and getting vaccinated, I expect our case counts will keep going down,” Northam added.

Northam reiterates that these will be measured changes that health officials will continue to monitor over time. But he is confident with easing some of the rules after he says 1 in 4 Virginians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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