PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam’s new COVID-19 restrictions went into effect at midnight Monday.
The “modified stay-at-home order” is from midnight to 5 a.m. every day starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday. This excludes those going to work and other essential travel (buying food, getting medical attention, etc.)
Virginia’s limit on gatherings decreased starting Monday to 10 from 25, and masks are required outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.
Gatherings include parties, celebrations and other social events, outdoors and indoors. The rule doesn’t apply to places of work, religious services and schools.
Northam said the gathering limits won’t restrict restaurants.
- RELATED: Northam announces ‘modified stay-at-home order’ through January, gatherings now limited to 10 people
Northam took to social media Saturday following the approval of the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine — which arrived in states beginning Monday morning.
In response to the news, Northam said via Twitter that state and health officials have been preparing since the spring.
“We expect to receive our first allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the next 24 to 48 hours, and will immediately begin distribution to our health care workers and long-term care facilities,” he tweeted Saturday morning.
According to the Associated Press, the first shipments left Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Michigan via truck and then be flown to regional hubs around the country.
- RELATED: Northam responds to COVID-19 vaccine, says immediate distribution to health care workers, long-term care facilities in Virginia
Hospitals in Hampton Roads are also preparing. Both Sentara and Riverside hospital systems expected to receive the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
The two hospital systems have also purchased the ultra-cold freezers the vaccine requires for storage and both are training pharmacists and nurses who will handle and administer the vaccine.
Read more about FDA approval, distribution locations, and possible storage challenges here.
On Sunday, the Virginia Department of Health reported 3,294 more new COVID-19 cases. Hampton Roads made up more than 25% of the daily increase.
This is a big leap compared to Saturday’s 15%. Hampton Roads not only surpassed yesterday’s daily increase, but also added nearly 200 more cases.
Both Virginia Beach and Chesapeake saw nearly 200 cases each on Sunday with Newport News trailing just behind with an additional 159 cases.
- RELATED: Virginia COVID-19 Dec. 13 update: Over 3,200 new cases statewide, nearly 850 in Hampton Roads as local numbers make up 25% of daily increase