A Surge In Numbers Is Driving New Regional COVID-19 Restrictions
Starting at midnight, new COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in Hampton Roads.
It's all because the percent positivity in the region keeps going up.
According to the World Health Organization, it's important that number is 10% or less. This shows that policies like social distancing are working.
Dr. Bogdan Neughebauer, an infectious disease specialist with Sentara, said the statewide figures show clear progress in fighting the pandemic.
"In Virginia right now, the percentage positivity has dropped to 7.3 percent," he said. "It’s an excellent number actually."
But the numbers in eastern Virginia are higher.
In Hampton Roads, Dr. Neughebauer said the percent positivity is between 10% to 18.6%.
"That gives you an idea why a few days ago the governor came up with some adjusted measures for our social distancing," he said.
The added restrictions mean restaurants have to stop serving alcohol after 10 pm, and must stay below half capacity for indoor dining. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.
“While the health metrics remain largely stable in four out of Virginia’s five health regions, I am concerned about the recent increase in cases in Hampton Roads,” Northam said in a public statement. “These decisions are necessary to protect public health and prevent additional virus outbreaks—I will not hesitate to do what it takes to keep Virginians safe.”
According to Virginia Department of Health data, more than 88,000 people have contracted the illness statewide, with more than 7,000 hospitalizations and just over 2,000 deaths.