Authorities in Virginia have issued orders to tighten certain restrictions starting Nov. 15 due to increases in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Under the new directives, all public and private gatherings, indoors or outdoors, must be limited to a maximum of 25 people. Additionally, the order for residents to wear facemasks in all indoor public spaces has been expanded to include all individuals over the age of five, with exceptions for those unable to wear one for health reasons. On-premises sale, consumption, or possession of alcohol after 2200 is banned, and all restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking establishments must close nightly by 0001.
Other restrictions will remain unchanged, including:
Restaurants and food establishments can operate without capacity limits; however, social-distancing measures must remain in place.
Retail stores can open without capacity limits.
Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 75-percent capacity.
Personal care businesses can operate without capacity limits, while maintaining social distancing measures, and with clients and employees wearing facemasks.
Authorities continue to encourage employees to work from home whenever possible. Establishments allowed to open must adhere to directives requiring them to enhance sanitation procedures, comply with social distancing guidelines, and require sick employees to stay at home. Essential businesses continue to operate, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, transportation, security, and critical manufacturing companies.
Some business disruptions remain likely. Officials could amend the orders at short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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