Northam: Face coverings to be required, sorta, NoVa set to move into Phase One
People in public places indoors in Virginia will be required to wear a face covering beginning Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam said today.
The mandate will not be enforced as a criminal matter, but rather by health officials, the governor said.
Employees working indoors will also be required to wear face coverings.
The exceptions to the mandate cited by the governor include those eating or drinking at restaurants, those engaged in exercise, those with health conditions that make wearing face coverings dangerous to their well-being, and children under the age of 10.
The announcement comes on the heels of Northam being caught unprepared on a stroll of the Boardwalk in Virginia Beach over the Memorial Day weekend.
Photos circulated widely online and on social media of Northam taking selfies with various people on the Boardwalk.
“I was unprepared. And for that I take full responsibility. This is not just about me. This is about all Virginians, and about their public safety,” Northam said.
Northam also indicated today that he will be lifting the so-called Phase Zero designation for Northern Virginia and Accomack County, meaning those localities will be moving into Phase One status as of Friday.
That will allow for limited economic reopening including restaurant dining outdoors.
The governor said no determination for moving the rest of the state to Phase Two, which would allow indoor dining at restaurants and higher limits on social gatherings, from 10 to 50 people.
It didn’t sound like any word on that regarding Phase Two status would be coming this week.
Story by Chris Graham