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Stoney Continues Call For COVID Caution

Man in front of book case
With case counts still rising, Mayor Levar Stoney asked Richmonders to make the best decisions for themselves and other amid the pandemic. (Screenshot from briefing).

Mayor Levar Stoney continues to plead with Richmonders to take COVID-19 seriously, asking them during a Thursday press conference to make smart decisions as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the city.

Dr. Danny Avula, director of the Richmond City Health District, said over 35% of cases in the city during the last eight weeks have been in people between the ages of 20 and 29. He said he hopes the restrictions implemented by Gov. Ralph Northam late last Friday will help curb the spread among young people. 

“We know that young adults have been congregating late at night in bars, in restaurants,” Avula said. “I absolutely think that the 10 o’clock alcohol rules and the 12 o’clock closures will impact that.”

Stoney and Avula conducted the briefing from their respective houses as the mayor remains in quarantine. Stoney entered quarantine after his campaign manager tested positive for the virus following an outbreak in the Richmond registrar’s office. During the press conference, the mayor sided with his party and called for the resignation of Registrar Kirk Showalter after accusations that her office mishandled both the outbreak and absentee ballots with errors.

He also repeated his request that residents not travel for Thanksgiving. Stoney sympathized with citizens over the tough choices they face, noting that his brother would not be able to join his family for the holiday.

“He made the decision last night to not come. And I have not seen my brother in probably a year,” he said. “But this is the sort of decisions I know that a lot of families are making right now, and it’s the right decision.”

The city reported 274 new cases this week, bringing the pandemic total up to 6,159. Eighty Richmonders have died from COVID-19.