More people allowed at indoor, outdoor events as Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions roll back

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Starting Thursday, more people will be allowed at indoor and outdoor events around Virginia as COVID-19 restrictions roll back and Gov. Ralph Northam’s new guidelines go into effect.

This is big news for places like Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke. This popular spot for concerts and events — like Party in Elmwood — can now welcome over 1,000 people.

According to Northam’s new COVID-19 guidelines, starting Thursday, April 1, outdoor venues can operate up to 30% capacity while indoor venues can accommodate up to 30% capacity or up to 500 people, whichever is less.

The City of Roanoke owns more than 60 parks and venues, which is why special events supervisor Kait Pedigo says the new guidelines are a big deal.

“Our local artists express themselves, perform and have an audience. That’s huge,” Pedigo said. “Also for us to be able to get out and get together in a safe way, that’s something that’s incredibly necessary for our culture, our sense of well-being and for our livability.”

Pedigo says additional rules may be set at Elmwood, like a mask mandate, depending on the event.

There are also plans to create socially distant spacing, including seating in the amphitheater and the lines for concessions.

Pedigo says easing restrictions comes at a good time as the industry’s event season runs from March through October.

“These non-profit organizations and the industry itself could really use the boom,” she said. “Right now, getting out is going to be good for you but it’s also going to be good for your community.”

Upcoming Events at Elmwood Park

Social Gatherings

  • 50 people allowed per indoor setting
  • 100 people allowed per outdoor setting

Recreational Sporting Events

  • The lesser of 100 people or 30% capacity allowed per indoor recreational sporting event
  • The lesser of 500 people or 30% capacity allowed per outdoor recreational sporting event

Northam plans to re-evaluate the COVID-19 restrictions each month.

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