Gov. Northam gives July 14 update on COVID-19 in Virginia

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VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Governor Ralph Northam came back with a live update on Tuesday, July 14 about COVID-19 in Virginia. A notable update included stricter oversight of Virginia businesses who may not be enforcing safety regulations.

On July 10, Northam tweeted that there is some concerning data of increasing cases, specifically in the Hampton Roads area.

“We will continue watching the data over the coming days to make sure public health guidelines are being followed—and I won’t hesitate to impose restrictions if needed,” Northam tweeted. He also encouraged Virginians to report any businesses who are ignoring COVID-19 rules to the local health department.

There’s been some substantial community spread in the eastern region, Northam said. Positive cases for 20-29 year olds is up 250 percent.

However, during his Tuesday update he mentions some positive updates as well: While Northern Virginia has 2/3 of the state’s population, COVID-19 cases are “dramatically down,” Northam said.

He’s having officials conduct unannounced visits to businesses as needed to ensure enforcement of COVID-19 regulations. This will happen statewide, but will be especially enforced in the Hampton Roads area.

Northam also touched on school reopening plans, unemployment, and the housing situation in Virginia during the pandemic. Watch the full press conference:

THE DATA

As of July 14, the Virginia Department of Health reports 6,817 total COVID-19 hospitalizations, 1,977 total COVID-19 deaths and 72,443 total positive cases. Most of the highest numbers are focused in the Northern Virginia and eastern shore regions.

The map below, taken from the Virginia Department of Health website on July 14, shows where the higher and lower counts of COVID-19 hospitalizations are in the commonwealth. The darker the color, the higher the counts.

Map shows COVID-19 hospitalizations in Virginia (last updated July 14, 2020). Provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

BACKGROUND

The governor gave his last live update a week before the Fourth of July holiday, and just a few days before Virginia was set to enter Phase Three of reopening on July 1.

“We are able to safely move into Phase Three next week because Virginians have been doing the right things, like staying home and practicing social distancing. But we need to remain cautious––cases are on the rise in many other states, and we do not want to see that in Virginia,” Northam said in a tweet on June 24.

Phase Three loosened some limits on Virginia businesses, such as:

  • Opening entertainment venues at 50% capacity
  • Opening fitness centers/gyms at 75% capacity
  • Increasing gathering limits to 250 people
  • Removing the “appointment only” requirement for personal grooming services

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