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Governor Northam lifts some COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia

Starting March 1, alcohol sales will end at midnight instead of 10 p.m. The stay-at-home order from midnight to 5 a.m. will be lifted as well.

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam announced plans Wednesday to lift some COVID-19 restrictions including social gathering limits and the statewide stay-at-home order.

Northam said the curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be lifted starting March 1.

Also starting on that date, alcohol sales will extend to midnight. The restriction had been until 10 p.m.

The cap for social gatherings outdoors will increase to 25. Beforehand, there was a 10-person limit for those gatherings.

Outdoor entertainment venues can also increase their capacity limits from a strict cap of 250 people to 30% capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is fewer.

The move to ease statewide restrictions comes as COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations across Virginia are on the decline.

Gov. Northam also discussed the state's vaccine registration website and how many Virginians have signed up so far.

So far, around 1.7 million vaccine doses have administered in Virginia as of Wednesday. Approximately 13.5% of the state population has received the first dose.

The state is also progressing nicely in the growing number of pre-registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine. Around 1.7 million Virginians are now pre-registered to get their shots.

Northam also nodded to the recent FDA review of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine in which scientists determined the shot was both safe and effective. If that corporation's vaccine is authorized to use, Virginia could receive more doses and vaccinate citizens at a faster rate.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health added 1,907 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases to its daily dashboard.