Radford City Council approves ordinance limiting gatherings, tabling mask regulations


RADFORD, Va. (WFXR) — Radford City Council held a second emergency meeting on Tuesday to address the increase in city population as students return to school for the fall semester.

The council previously met on Friday to present a temporary ordinance addressing changes with the coronavirus numbers in the community. Ordinance 1734 originally had three components — face coverings, gatherings, and early closure with restaurants. However, the restaurant component was tabled, and the other two components were split into separate ordinances — Ordinance 1732 on face masks and Ordinance 1735 on gatherings.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Radford City Council unanimously approved a limit on gatherings in the city to 50 or less people effective from August 6 to August 31 with an option to renew the ordinance if needed.

Penalties can include fines of up to $300 for event organizers and $150 for people who do not leave the event when told to do so.

“We are at a pivot point with the COVID-19 battle in Radford. We are trying to make decisions as our population changes significantly, as people return from vacation, as they return to work, as schools plan to reopen, and as the university that we host in our community- Radford University- has students return, all of which increases the population, increase activity, and increases connection. Even though we’ve had relatively low numbers, we have had some growth in our cases.”

Radford Mayor David Horton

Horton says the number of COVID-19 cases in the past month has doubled from 11 to 27, and seven of the cases were over the course of a couple of days.

Some of the exemptions of the gatherings ordinance include religious activities, day care, and funerals. However, all those attending gathering must practice social distancing and wear masks.

The council tabled the mask requirement until August 10. The plan to regulate restaurants and limit hours on alcohol sales was tabled again.

Instead, Radford will meet with restaurant owners on Thursday, August 6 at 5 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss self-regulation.

“We didn’t go quite as far as planned tonight but have chosen to try several approaches to keep our citizens safe,” said Mayor Horton.

Watch the full meeting below:

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