‘Violations will now be enforceable…as a Class one misdemeanor’: Virginia strengthens enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines

Local Coronavirus Coverage
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RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – In just a matter of days, certain statewide COVID-19 guidelines in Virginia will be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.

That announcement came from Governor Northam’s office late Friday afternoon.

In the latest release, Governor Northam outlined the following:

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. 

The release further detailed that 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 of over five percent.

The governor’s office reports that the measures will take effect starting “midnight on Sunday, November 15.”

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