As part of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s recent Executive Order, more stringent safety restrictions will be enforced from Dec. 14 to Jan. 31 across the Commonwealth. The regulations shrink the in-person gathering limit from 25 people to 10 and create a curfew between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
The executive order comes as a direct response to COVID-19 case numbers three times those at Virginia’s last peak in May. As of Thursday — when the executive order was issued — case numbers were averaging at 3,700 new cases each day. The order cited an 83 percent increase in hospitalization over the past four weeks, and a concerning rate of ICU occupancy.
Although classes at the University have ended for the semester, the spread of COVID-19 among students and personnel has not stopped — seven new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday on the University’s COVID-19 Tracker despite little on-Grounds activity
For students staying in the Charlottesville area, U.Va. limits in-person gatherings to 10 people — a policy it has enforced since Oct. 13. The University is also requiring students who remain in Charlottesville between Thanksgiving and Dec. 18 to undergo weekly testing.
The percent positivity rate of Virginia as a whole was 10.8 percent as of Dec. 10.
In contrast, the Thomas Jefferson Health District — of which U.Va. Health is the primary healthcare facility — was the only health district in Virginia to have avoided a positivity rate above 10 percent as of Dec. 10. The rate stood at 4.5 percent as of Dec. 10.
As of Dec. 10, 56 of the U.Va. Hospital’s beds are currently occupied by patients hospitalized for COVID-19.