Virginia Gov. Northam Relaxes More Outdoor COVID-19 Restrictions, Announces Vaccine Progress

As warmer weather starts to tempt Virginians out of their COVID caves, Governor Ralph Northam announced another round of relaxed restrictions on outdoor activities, effective March 1. On Wednesday, Northam amended Executive Order 72 to allow up to 25 people at outdoor social gatherings, allows outdoor venues to have the lesser of either 1,000 people or 30 percent of their capacity, allows overnight summer camps to begin operations on May 1, and extends alcohol sales curfews until midnight, when restaurants must still close.

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As High School Football Begins, Northam Allows up to 250 Spectators at Outdoor Sports

Governor Ralph Northam released an amended Executive Order 72 that allows outdoor sports to have up to 250 spectators or 30 percent of venue capacity, whichever is less, effective Monday. The February 17 amendment modifies language that previously allowed just two guests per player, up to 30 percent of venue capacity. Indoor sports are still limited to 25 persons per field.

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Senator Chase Sues the Republican Party of Virginia

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, announced Tuesday that she is suing the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV). Chase has been critical of the RPV decision to hold a nominating convention since the decision was first announced in December. Now, after months of fractious debate in the RPV over that decision, Chase is suing, arguing that she is harmed by the RPV choosing a nominating method currently illegal under Executive Order 72, which bans large gatherings like an in-person convention.

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Virginia Court Denies Chincoteague Church Lawsuit Over Northam’s Executive Orders

A U.S. District Court has dismissed a lawsuit by Chincoteague Lighthouse Fellowship Church against Governor Ralph Northam. In April 2020, the church sued over Northam’s Executive Orders 53 and 55, which limited gathering sizes to 10 and issued a stay-at-home order. But in a January 27 decision, Judge Arenda Wright Allen dismissed the suit, saying that the complaint was moot since those executive orders no longer stand.

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Two Churches File Another Lawsuit Against Governor Ralph Northam Over Executive Order 72

Two pastors are suing Governor Ralph Northam over Executive Order 72 (EO 72), saying that the order places restrictions on churches that aren’t placed on educational institutions or essential businesses. Pastor Jeff Light and Reverend Jon Heddleston are being represented in the Rappahanock Circuit Court by lawyer Mike Sharman, who is also representing churches in Madison and Culpeper in two other lawsuits against Northam.

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Virginia GOP Moves Forward with Nominating Convention Amidst Chaos and Intense Division

After another stalemate between pro-primary and pro-convention factions of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC), Chairman Rich Anderson said he will move forward with plans for a convention.

“The majority of the SCC voted today for a third time to conduct an assembled in-person Republican State Convention. Our hope is to get SCC buy-in in a later meeting on proposals to transform it to an unassembled state convention, like we did last summer,” Anderson told The Virginia Star.

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