Virginia Governor Ralph Northam introduces modified stay at home order as COVID-19 cases soar

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced new restrictions on Thursday at a press conference as the Commonwealth struggles once again to stall the spread of the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announces new measures to contain COVID-19 in the Commonwealth

Gov. Northam says starting Monday, Virginia will go into a modified stay at home order. From midnight to 5 a.m., residents are asked to stay at home unless they are commuting to and from work.

Social gatherings will be limited to 10 people, which is down from the 25 person limit. Capacity will also be limited to 25 people per field for indoor sports and two guests per player for outdoor sports.

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Northam also reminds residents that they should be wearing masks both indoors and outdoors to prevent the spread of the virus. He says restrictions previously enacted, such as prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m., will remain in place.

Northam did not put any new restrictions on places of worship ahead of the holidays, but says he encourages faith leaders to make the call to celebrate religious events safely.

Northam also gave a platform to a COVID-19 ICU nurse named Emily who shared her experience working in the health care field during the pandemic. Watch her video here.

Turning his attention to vaccination, Northam says Virginia will be able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine within 24 to 48 hours of its approval. Read more about Virginia's vaccination plan here.

Despite a surge in cases in Virginia, the Governor has been reluctant to implement the same restrictions his administration imposed at the outset of the pandemic.

Coronavirus case totals and deaths in the DMV

Neighboring Maryland – which had a lower test positivity percentage and fewer new cases on Wednesday – has already restored restrictions on indoor capacity, and shrunk caps on large gatherings.

The Commonwealth had a test positivity percentage of 10.9% - compared to 7.74% in Maryland and 5.9% in D.C.