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Northam addresses why he wasn't wearing face mask while visiting Virginia Beach Oceanfront

"My mask was in the car. I take full responsibility for that. People held me accountable and I appreciate that."

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — At a coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Northam addressed why he wasn't sporting any protective gear during his visit to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Northam was seen walking on the boardwalk, greeting beachgoers and taking selfies with people. 

“I visited the Oceanfront with the intention of visiting the mayor, thanking first responders and seeing how the reopening plan was working," Northam said about his visit this past Saturday.

However, people seemed to notice one very striking thing: the governor wasn't wearing a face mask.

RELATED: Northam faces criticism after not wearing face mask in public during Oceanfront visit

In regular press briefings on fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in Virginia, Northam has made a constant effort to encourage people to wear face masks in public places. He even started wearing a mask around his neck during these press conferences.

"Some well-wishers came up to me and asked to take pictures. My mask was in the car," Northam explained. "I take full responsibility for that. People held me accountable and I appreciate that." 

Northam declared he'll be more cautious and alert when he's out in public in the future.

During his comments, he also noted that the beaches weren't packed and that many were adhering to social distancing guidelines.

"Virginia Beach performed well this weekend. Most did the right thing," Northam said. "They did not see large crowds like in other parts of the country."

Starting Friday, May 29, all Virginians will be required to wear face coverings in public settings.

RELATED: It's official. All Virginians must wear face masks while inside public places.

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