December 11, 2020 — Yesterday Governor Ralph Northam announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 as new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth.

Executive Order Seventy-Two directs Virginians to stay at home between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., implements a universal mask requirement, and lowers the limit on social gatherings from 25 people to 10 people. The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14 and remain in place through January 31, 2021, unless rescinded or amended.

The order does not appear to add new restrictions to farmers markets.

VAFMA’s Executive Director, Dr. Kim Hutchinson, contacted Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh to ask how the new guidelines impacted farmers markets. The Commissioner responded that there do not appear to be new guidelines that would significantly impact farmers markets. If there is anything she needs to follow-up with us about, she will be sure to do so.

Below is the section pertaining to farmers markets. Read the details included in the full text of the Executive Order. Section III (page 16) of this document includes the particulars about face coverings.

Number Seventy-Two (2020) And Order of Public Health Emergency Nine Common Sense Surge Restrictions Certain Temporary Restrictions Due To Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Farmers’ Markets 
Farmers’ markets may continue to operate, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for farmers’ markets incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:

a. Employees and patrons must maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not Family members, as defined below, at all times. Employees and vendors must, where possible, configure operations to avoid congestion or congregation points.
b. Employees and vendors must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while working at their place of employment.
c. Employees and vendors must routinely clean and disinfect frequently-contacted surfaces during operation.
d. Patrons must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth according to Section III. (Page 16 of EO #72 document)
e. Farmers’ markets must promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing employees, customers, visitors, the general public, and other persons entering into the place of employment with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers.
f. If any such business cannot adhere to these requirements, it must close.

Guidelines for All Business Sectors (November 13, 2020)

Executive Order 72 (2020) and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine

News Release: Governor Northam Announces New Mitigation Measures to Slow COVID-19 Spread