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Virginia governor planning to lift COVID-19 occupancy restrictions on June 15

Virginia governor planning to lift COVID-19 occupancy restrictions on June 15
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is planning to lift COVID-19 occupancy restrictions on June 15.

Northam said during a press conference on Thursday that he will likely lift the remaining restrictions as long as vaccination numbers trend upward and cases continue to decline.

“If our COVID numbers keep trending down, and our vaccination numbers keep going up, we plan to lift our mitigation measures, capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements on June 15,” Northam said.

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Northam said that the state would follow the mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last Thursday, the state updated its mask guidance to allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear masks outdoors when alone or in small gatherings.

The announcement follows several moves Northam has taken to reopen the state.

Late last month, Northam announced that expanded capacity limits and limits on social gatherings would begin on May 15.

Officials said that Northam’s state of emergency declaration expires June 30, but it would likely be revisited to address how to go about mandating masks indoors.

Northam said Thursday that the state is seeing less than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus per day for the past two weeks, with a 4.4 percent positivity rate. The seven-day average is lower than it has been since early October.

Just under 46 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 33 percent have been fully inoculated.