Written by Mateo Biggs
For over a year now, COVID-19 has affected everyone in every age group and has changed how everyone lives – especially with masks becoming a part of modern fashion with different patterns and images printed onto the fabric. Only recently were some students at Roanoke College able to join their classes in person with fellow classmates.
Now, this may be the new normal for many of the freshmen here on campus, as they ended their senior years in high school with these strict mandates in place, but many upperclassmen may be missing the freedom of being students without their masks or the activities the college offered in previous years. Many freshmen may wish to partake in these activities as well, but instead many are stuck inside, unable to gain the whole college experience.
Luckily, as the seasons change, the grip of state mandates is loosening. Virginia’s COVID-19 cases are appearing to drop and stabilize with help from the vaccines being handed out to high-risk citizens, and this improvement has led to changes in the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. One such regulation change is the amount of people allowed in areas for occasions like family gatherings, parties and other such major events.
As of April 1, the capacity for indoor venues has shifted, with 30% occupancy now allowed within indoor venues. This could also equate to 500 people in total, depending on which number is less in comparison to attendees. Outdoor venues, on the other hand, are able to operate at 30% capacity with no numeric cap.
What does this entail? Entertainment venues will now be able to welcome a slightly more regular number of attendees. Sporting events, for example, are increased to 100 people indoors while 500 people are allowed outdoors. This shows that the sports season will definitely have a change in the game as we begin the journey to new normalcy.
Beyond this? Graduation events will be allowed to be held this spring with a limit of 5,000 people, or 30% capacity. It may still not be normal, or what was normal, but the loosening of Virginia’s restrictions is a hopeful sign for the future after COVID-19.