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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 as new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth. Executive Order Seventy-Two directs Virginians to stay at home between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., implements a universal mask requirement and lowers the limit on social gatherings from 25 people to 10 people. The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14 and remain in place through Jan. 31, 2021, unless rescinded or amended.“New daily case numbers are higher than they have been at any previous point in the pandemic, and while the trends in Virginia are better than most of the country, we are taking action now to slow the spread of this virus before our hospitals get overwhelmed,” said Governor Northam. “We already have strong public health measures in place, and with these additional steps, we can turn this around. Virginians, if you don’t have to be out, stay at home. Whenever we are around other people, we all need to wear a mask, indoors and out.”“These are common-sense things we can all do to take care of each other and stay safe. This is not about getting people in trouble—this is about everyone doing their part and reducing opportunities for people to get sick.”The following mitigation measures will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec.14:
While Virginia’s new cases per capita remain lower than 43 other states, all of the Commonwealth’s five health regions are experiencing increases in COVID-19 cases, positive tests and hospitalizations. Virginia is currently averaging more than 3,700 new COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. Statewide test positivity rate is at 11 percent, an increase from 7 percent approximately one month ago. More than 2,000 Virginians are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 statewide, an increase of over 80 percent in the last four weeks.The full text of Executive Order Seventy-Two, which incorporates earlier Executive Orders Sixty-Three Sixty-Seven is available here.For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus..Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov