As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam today announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.
“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” said Governor Northam. “Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one Commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives.”
Governor Northam shared a new video to update Virginians on the additional steps the Commonwealth is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which is available here.
The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday, November 15:
- Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
- Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
- Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
- On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.
Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly-reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. While Southwest Virginia has experienced a spike in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, all five of the Commonwealth’s health regions are currently reporting a positivity rate over five percent. Although hospital capacity remains stable, hospitalizations have increased statewide by more than 35 percent in the last four weeks.
On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new contracts with three laboratories as part of the Commonwealth’s OneLabNetwork, which will significantly increase Virginia’s public health testing capacity. Contracts with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk will directly support high-priority outbreak investigations, community testing events, and testing in congregate settings, with a goal of being able to perform 7,000 per day by the end of the year.
The Richmond Night Market launches holiday villages across the city to celebrate the season
The Holiday Villages are a multicultural holiday market shopping experience that will feature local goods, art, food, music, and the best of Richmond culture.
The Richmond Night Market, in partnership with the City of Richmond, Office of Economic Development, Flying Squirrels, Brok Productions, and media partner, Richmond Magazine, announced it will open five Holiday Villages across the city this holiday season to celebrate the Richmond community and its resilience. The open-air markets will be open every Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m. beginning November 28 to December 19. Vendors are encouraged to apply.
“Richmond is an amazing city and we want to make sure folks don’t forget about that, especially during these challenging times,” said Melody Joy Short, co-founder of Richmond Night Market. “We are a village and it’s important that we continue to support each other, especially our artisan and small business community. Let’s spread some holiday cheer, celebrate each other, and do our part to uplift the local economy.”
The Holiday Villages are a multicultural holiday market shopping experience that will feature local goods, art, food, music, and the best of Richmond culture. The open-air markets are spread across several locations to encourage social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19, with strict COVID-19 measures in place supported by the City of Richmond. Plus, attendees will have an opportunity to explore different neighborhoods including Manchester, Scott’s Addition, the Arts District, Jackson Ward, and Shockoe Bottom.
“Every neighborhood has its own vibe and flavor,” said Adrienne Cole Johnson, co-founder of Richmond Night Market. “The food, shopping experience, retailers and services are all unique to each part of the city and we want to recreate that with our Holiday Villages. We want people to shop and buy local, as well as showcase all of the gems in the city.”
“Artists and small businesses across the board should sign up to become a vendor,” Cole Johnson added.
The Richmond Night Market launched in April 2019 as a monthly gathering at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market in Shockoe Bottom as a way for locals and tourists to shop for clothing, jewelry, visual art, organic products and even artisanal food. Event organizers shifted their approach during the pandemic, launching a successful virtual experience that allowed patrons to engage with independent, small businesses in a new way on social media.
“We see our Holiday Villages as an extension of what we’ve been doing all year,” said Short. “Most, if not all businesses, have experienced some disruption and we want to ensure there is true recovery. Our efforts have increased sales by 40 percent for many artists. With the holiday season around the corner, our aim is to keep creating these opportunities to generate revenue and uplift this community.”
Patrons will be able to start their shopping experience on Small Business Saturday (November 28) and explore all of the Holiday Villages through Saturday, December 19. Those interested in becoming a vendor can apply at www.richmondnightmarketva.com.
Axe-throwing venue Shield and Sheath Hatchet House coming to Scott’s Addition
The husband-and-wife duo behind The Virginia Axe Co. in Goochland are opening a new hatchet-throwing venue in the growing neighborhood.
From Richmond BizSense:
Tamera and Dan Pegg are heading to Scott’s Addition after two years of throwing axes in Goochland, and this time they’re bringing knives with them.
The wife-and-husband duo is preparing to open Shield and Sheath Hatchet House, an axe and knife-throwing venue at 1511 Altamont Ave. in Scott’s Addition.
The Peggs are co-owners of The Virginia Axe Co. in Rockville, which they opened with business partners Greg and Kathy Ullmann in 2018.
The Virginia Axe Co. was among the first axe-throwing venues to arrive in Richmond, and its success has led the Peggs to go out on their own and open Shield and Sheath.
1115 Mobile Kitchen brings the meats and plant-based heat to Scott’s Addition this weekend
The new food truck, which aims to build bridges between meat-eaters and vegetarians, will debut at Buskey Cider on Sunday.
1115 Mobile Kitchen is a new food truck serving up southern-style traditional dishes, and it’s parking for the first time on November 15th in Scott’s Addition at Buskey Cider. Owner and chef Henry Fletcher combines his kitchen experience and independence as a skateboarder with his drive to bring about positive change and the desire to break down walls between meat-eaters and those with plant-based diets.
The menu features vegan dishes that are just as delicious as their meaty counterparts, like the Triple MMM Crispy Chicken Sando (available with organic chicken or soy protein), Shrimp and Rice (local shrimp or house-made tofu-based shrimp), and house cut and seasoned home fries dubbed “Homies,” available with a plant-based cheese sauce. It’s not often that a restaurant or food truck does both meat and plant-based dishes so well, but Fletcher aims to change that.
What’s in a number? As a teenager, Fletcher noticed that the number 1115 was emerging throughout his life, in the address of the house where he spent his free time between skateboarding sessions, on the clock, in books, even on buses. Urged to look into the mysterious repeating number, he discovered angel numbers, a concept based in numerology that guides a person on how to interpret numbers that frequently pop up in daily life.
“The number 1115 means that a positive change is coming forward into your life,” explains Fletcher. “For me, 1115 is the positive change to break down the wall between meat-eaters and vegan eaters and allow them to experience similar flavors at no extra cost.”
Expect not just high marks for the food but also additional style points when eating at 1115. Fletcher, after all, is a skateboarder well versed in expressing his individuality. “I seek spaces where I can be myself,” he says. “The two biggest places I feel like I can be who I am and who I want to be is on a skateboard and in the kitchen.”
1115 Mobile Kitchen celebrates its grand opening on November 15th at 2910 W Leigh St, Richmond, VA 23230. For more information, visit 1115mobilekitchen.com.