Virginia today recorded the highest single-day new COVID-19 case count on record, with 2,677 new cases.
This monumental spike comes in the wake of Gov. Ralph Northam's Friday declaration that certain COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia will fall back to Phase 2. The commonwealth has been in Phase 3 for nearly five months.
“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," Northam said Friday. "We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse. 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.”
Virginia is now seeing over 200,000 COVID-19 cases, with more then 13,000 hospitalizations. The statewide death toll stands at 3,806.
The Danville-Pittsylvania Health District accounts for 2,953 cases, with 1,515 diagnosed in the county and the remaining 1,438 confirmed in Danville City.
The local death toll stands at 65.
Virginia Department of Health officials say today's record number is due to a catch-up from the VDH data system being down for upgrades over the weekend, but agree that the average daily new COVID-19 cases in Virginia is at an all-time high.
As cases spike across the commonwealth, restrictions are tightening for the first time since they were implemented in early spring.
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 ten and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
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.
The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10 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 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.