Will Lifts in the COVID-19 Restrictions be the Break VA is Looking for?

By Amy Wallace | Contributing Writer

A silver lining in COVID-19’s dark cloud may have appeared for Virginians with Gov. Northam announcing that the alcohol cutoff at restaurants and outdoor capacity for venues and gatherings will be raising. The stay-at-home curfew will also be lifted. All of this will go into effect on Monday, Mar. 1.

Northam announced that the COVID numbers in Virginia are falling as the amount of vaccinations that have been given out is increasing.

Entertainment venues can now increase their capacity to allow 30% or 1,000- person capacity. These venue capacity increases also go for sports venues, college and professional alike. The alcohol cutoff that restaurants and bars have in place can now be extended another two hours. The stay-at-home curfew will be lifted entirely.

So, what does this mean for Old Dominion University? The university announced back in September that football at ODU would be canceled until the fall of 2021. With this updated capacity, and reported fall in the number of cases, will football and other sports return this fall? Will they follow the old guidelines or up their capacity in response to the changes?

This recent update to COVID restrictions comes with a lot of questions for the ODU community, and many are eagerly awaiting answers.

As appealing as all this sounds to those who have been going stir-crazy during the stay-at-home order, the updated restrictions bring up a lot of concerns about the health and safety of the citizens. Is it too soon after the vaccinations to be making these changes?

Virginia was ready to move into phase 1B of the vaccines on Jan. 11. and, according to AARP, Virginia is now ready to move onto phase 1C. As of now, those who have received the vaccine are people who are aged sixty-five or older and those aged sixteen through sixty-four who have a high-risk medical condition. With only that small part of the population receiving the vaccine we still seeing a drop in the number of cases. This is definitely a bit of good news for Virginians in these trying times.

COVID-19 lockdowns have been rough for everyone. I know we would all jump at the chance to have some normalcy back in our lives. I do think that the easing of the restrictions that are happening at this current moment will be beneficial. I trust that these decisions were made with everyone’s best interest in mind and under the guidance of health officials.

However, is this our first step back into a full-fledged lockdown? Could this be Virginia’s metaphorical Trojan Horse? Opening up even a little could let in disaster. Despite all the many questions and concerns that come with these restriction lifts, we should go out and enjoy it while it lasts! Socially distanced as always.