‘We are all learning to operate in new normal:’ Gov. Northam responds to viral online photos


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Ralph Northam’s office has responded after the governor was seen in photos not wearing a mask during a visit to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Photos of the governor circulated on social media Saturday evening following his visit to Virginia Beach as officials reopened city beaches after being closed for nearly two months.

Northam and several Virginia Beach officials welcomed residents to the water for Memorial Day weekend amid restrictions and guidance for social distancing.

People on social media were quick to point out the governor was not wearing a mask of his own.

Photos of the governor circulated online and caused quite the conversation as safety amid the coronavirus pandemic takes center stage just a week after most of the state entered Phase 1 of the economic reopening plan.

A spokeswoman for Northam stated the governor was not expecting to be in close proximity to residents during the visit.

10 On Your Side reached out to the governor’s office and they have provided a response with the statement below regarding the incident.

The Governor has repeatedly encouraged wearing face coverings inside or when social distancing is impossible. He was outside yesterday and not expecting to be within six feet of anyone. This is an important reminder to always have face coverings in case situations change — we are all learning how to operate in this new normal, and it’s important to be prepared.

Alena Yarmosky, Press Secretary for Governor Northam

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