Virginia churchgoers re-file lawsuit against Governor over pandemic restrictions

Gavel in a court room. (Getty)(Getty Images/iStockphoto/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

Virginia churchgoers have re-filed a lawsuit saying that state pandemic requirements for churches discourage people from going to services.

A lawsuit against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that was dismissed in September has been refiled by four churchgoers.

According to, the previous lawsuit was dismissed when Northam made the wearing of face masks the lone requirement for church gatherings with less than 250 people.

In mid-November, this order was updated saying that church services with more than 25 people are allowed as long as they are 6 feet apart, the seating areas are marked for social distancing, items used to give out food and drink are only used once and all are wearing face coverings.

The lawsuit — filed in Madison County — argues that these requirements ignore the previously-reached agreement and discourage the religious gathering of large groups of people, according to the article.

It claims that the new requirements, “ultimately ignore the previously reached agreement and discourage the religious gathering of large groups of people.”

Northam’s press secretary Alena Yarmosky told the Culpeper Times that the office does not comment on pending litigation but added that, “Governor Northam will continue to base all decisions in science, public health, and the safety of Virginians.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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