Press Club

Morning Poll: Should Virginia Enact Stricter Coronavirus Restrictions?

(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Just over a week ago, new coronavirus restrictions went into effect in Virginia.

Among other things, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a 25-person limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings, down from 250; an expanded mask requirement; and a 10 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for on-site consumption.

Since that went into effect on Monday, Nov. 16, more than 500 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Arlington alone.

Some other jurisdictions are enacting more stringent restrictions. Yesterday, the District of Columbia announced a 10-person limit for indoor gatherings, a ban on indoor group fitness classes, and a maximum 25% indoor capacity cap for restaurants. Montgomery County is also enacting a 10-person gathering limit, starting tonight.

Restaurants and workplaces appear to be a oft-cited commonality among those testing positive for the virus in Arlington this month. The surge in new cases, however, has not yet been accompanied by a significant increase in hospitalizations, raising questions about whether the potential cost to business and employment is worth the health benefit of a marginal reduction in new cases. In addition, the case fatality rate for COVID-19 has been decreasing.

That said, hospitalizations are surging in other parts of the country, so it might only be a matter of time before the growth in cases here leads to a rise in hospitalizations and fatalities. And with vaccines on the way, any new restrictions will be temporary.

Given all that, do you think Virginia should tighten up its restrictions?

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