2020-11-16

Governor Northam Announces New Statewide Measures to Contain COVID-19

Includes limit of 25 individuals for in-person gatherings, expanded mask mandate, on-site alcohol curfew, and increased enforcement

RICHMOND—As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam today announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.

“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” said Governor Northam. “Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one Commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives.”

Governor Northam shared a new video to update Virginians on the additional steps the Commonwealth is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which is available here.

The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday, November 15:

  • Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
  • Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
  • Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor. 
  • On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart. 

Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly-reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. While Southwest Virginia has experienced a spike in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, all five of the Commonwealth’s health regions are currently reporting a positivity rate over five percent. Although hospital capacity remains stable, hospitalizations have increased statewide by more than 35 percent in the last four weeks.

On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new contracts with three laboratories as part of the Commonwealth’s OneLabNetwork, which will significantly increase Virginia’s public health testing capacity. Contracts with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk will directly support high-priority outbreak investigations, community testing events, and testing in congregate settings, with a goal of being able to perform 7,000 per day by the end of the year.

The full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-Three and Order of Public Health Emergency Five and sixth amended Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven will be made available here

For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

VSU Offers Free Tax Workshop for Farmers

Virtual Workshop is Planned for Nov. 19

Virginia State University’s (VSU) Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) is hosting a virtual “Filing Farm Taxes” workshop for farmers and ranchers. Participants will learn tax management skills for their farming operations. Even if farmers hire a tax preparer to file their farm taxes, there is important information they need to know as producers.
 
The guest speaker is Darrell Tennie, who specializes in agriculture taxes and is founder and chief executive officer of The Tennie Group, LLC in Knightdale, North Carolina. Tennie will share information on farm-related tax topics, including new tax laws and changes, completing Schedule F, recordkeeping, reporting business expenses and deductions, managing enterprise sales, social security management, managing wages and working with nonprofits.
 
The workshop is open to the public, and will be held Nov. 19 from 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. To register, visit http://www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, and click on the event. YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR ZOOM MEETING LINK IN THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A LINK, PLEASE EMAIL smallfarm@vsu.edu.

 
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach Program office at smallfarm@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-3292 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during the business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.
 
Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

 

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOME EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBER

RICHMOND – On Oct. 25, 2020, Virginia State Police Captain Richard K. Boyd officially joined the Department’s executive team as a Major and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Major Boyd started his career with Virginia State Police in 2004 after graduating from the academy with the 106th Basic Session. Boyd is picking up this leadership position from Major Keith Keesee, who is retiring effective Jan. 1, 2021. Keesee has served as the BCI Deputy Director since his appointment on Feb. 10, 2018. Keesee served with Virginia State Police for 30 years.

Prior to this promotion, Boyd was commander of the BCI Richmond Field Office where he ensured that the latest investigative tactics, extensive jurisdictional partnerships, and comprehensive and consistent training came together to produce positive outcomes while combating crime. In addition, Boyd is a member of the Central Virginia Overdose Working Group, the Richmond Regional Human Tracking Collaborative and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia.

Boyd started his journey with Virginia State Police as a Trooper assigned to the Culpeper Division’s Area 5 Office in the Fredericksburg area. From there, he continued to serve the Culpeper Division as a Special Agent where he investigated middle and upper level drug distributors and organizations on the state and federal level. He was then promoted to Supervisory Special Agent coordinating the FBI Safe Streets Task Force where he led a multi-jurisdictional team of law enforcement agents. In 2014, Boyd continued to serve the Culpeper Division as First Sergeant in the General Investigation Section (GIS) and then in 2016 as Lieutenant. In 2017, he came to Headquarters in Richmond where he was Captain and Director of the Office of Internal Affairs.

Major Boyd has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Clemson University, a Master’s of Legal Studies Degree from American University and attended the 2017 FBI National Academy 270th Session.

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