Blacksburg votes to not loosen restrictions to match governor’s announcement

At Tuesday’s council meeting, members unanimously voted to extend the town’s COVID-19 ordinance...
At Tuesday’s council meeting, members unanimously voted to extend the town’s COVID-19 ordinance for another 90 days.(WDBJ7)
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 1:33 AM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Town of Blacksburg will not be rolling back restrictions on gatherings, despite Governor Ralph Northam’s announcement on Tuesday.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, members discussed whether the governor’s new limits were too high. They revisited the town’s current emergency ordinance that was set to soon expire.

That ordinance limits all gatherings, indoor and outdoor, to 50 people. The council voted to keep those current limits, and not go as far as the Governor on April 1.

This ordinance will remain in effect until May 16.

This ordinance does not apply to the operations of Virginia Tech, which is a state agency.

The town posted this on its Facebook page:

“Because some confusion has resulted from the Town Council’s action to approve Amended Emergency Ordinance 1956, the Town is providing the following clarifications.

“The Town’s emergency ordinance does not apply to Virginia Tech operations and will not impact events such as graduation.

“All of the measures in the emergency ordinance have been in place since first adopted by the Town Council in August of 2020 before the students returned to Blacksburg. The limit on gatherings (50 persons) remains in place due to Blacksburg’s unique circumstances as a college town and the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the student population.

“The Town’s emergency ordinance is consistent with the current Governor’s order except for the limit on large outdoor gatherings (a limit of 50 instead of the 100 persons permitted on April 1). This is to prevent large private gatherings/parties that could continue the spread of COVID-19 in the student population. This limitation does not apply to the operation of food establishments or businesses.

“Town staff is directly coordinating with Virginia Tech to plan for successful in-person graduation ceremonies and will welcome graduating students and their families to Blacksburg in May.”

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