Gov. Ralph Northam, as anticipated, announced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon that wearing masks in indoor commercial spaces will be mandatory beginning on Friday, despite objections from Republican lawmakers and Virginia police chiefs, among others.
During the press conference, Northam was asked about enforcement of the mask order, and the governor was forced to acknowledge that police will not be in charge of ensuring that local businesses are complying with the order. Instead, the governor said the Virginia Department of Health will be the agency tasked with enforcement, though he couldn’t or wouldn’t detail what authority the agency actually has to enforce the governor’s executive order.
The mask order also comes with several exemptions. If gun control advocates were pushing for a mask mandate, we’d be hearing a whole lot about the need to close the “asthma loophole” in Northam’s new order.