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'Staying home is an act of love' | Gov. Northam urges Virginians to hold safe Thanksgiving festivities

While new and tighter restrictions have been rolled out for Virginia, Governor Northam still encouraged people to opt for safer activities over the holiday.

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Northam held a briefing on Wednesday where he mostly reminded Virginians of the importance of staying home during the pandemic, especially with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

At the start of the briefing, Northam updated the public on where the state's current COVID-19 metrics lie. Data shows that the commonwealth is among the states with the lowest percent positivities and transmission levels.

He justified the rollout of tighter restrictions for proactive reasons. He stated that officials didn't want to wait to see if hospitalizations, deaths or the percent positivity rate would rise before ordering new regulations.

With the risk of increased travel and the potential for larger gatherings over Thanksgiving next week, Northam urged Virginians to think of safer ways to celebrate.

“Think hard about how you celebrate the holiday. Consider the risks not just to yourself, but to your family," Northam said. “This year, staying home is an act of love too. Think of your holiday plans and the risks. Eat outside. Hold a virtual Thanksgiving. Do your Black Friday shopping online.”

Social gatherings are limited to 25 people or fewer, restaurants and bars must stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and children ages five and up are now required to wear face coverings in public, including at school.

“Be smart, be careful and think of those around you," Northam said.

Northam also nodded to the promising news from both Pfizer and Moderna that an effective vaccine is on the horizon. 

"We've been planning for distribution for months and we will be ready."