Gov. Ralph Northam wants Virginians to stay home. In fact, it’s an order.
“Our message today is very clear — that is to stay at home,” Northam said Monday.
The order goes into effect Monday.
Northam’s order will allow people to leave their homes to seek a wide array of essential services like medical attention, food, banking and more.
“If you can work remotely, you need to do so, and companies must allow that,” the governor said.
The order will also close the state’s beaches to swimming and sunbathing.
The executive order also directs all Virginia institutions of higher education to stop in-person classes and instruction. Private campgrounds must close for short-term stays, and beaches will be closed statewide except for fishing and exercise.
Northam’s move is in line with steps taken by governors in neighboring Maryland and North Carolina.
“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” Northam said. “Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”
Last week, Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three closing certain non-essential businesses, prohibiting public gatherings of more than 10 people, and directing all K-12 schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
Previously, he asked all residents to practice social distancing and stay home except for essential needs such as jobs considered essential, going to the grocery stores or outside for fresh air.
As of Monday, there are 73 positive cases in James City County, 18 in Newport News, 11 in York County, 9 in Hampton, 7 in Williamsburg and 2 in Poquoson, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website.
There are 1,020 cases statewide and 25 deaths. Eight people from the Peninsula Health District have died from the coronavirus.
The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Hampton Health District covers Hampton.
- Virginia food banks: Anyone can get food, USDA approved decision to remove income-based requirement. See locations near you here.
- Domestic Violence: 24-hour Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline call 800-838-8238
- Are you a tourist? Northam said you need to follow executive order.
- Traveling from a “hotspot of coronavirus cases? Quarantine for two weeks.
- Army Corps of Engineers: Looking at possible sites. Northam will update in a few days.
- Virginia National Guard: Federal government with pay for their activities.
- Disaster Relief: Northam submitted an application to federal government.
- Port of Virginia: Open for critical supplies shipments. Priority is personnel protective equipment.
- May elections: Northam will share more guidelines in a few days.
- Coronavirus Testing: State can’t test everyone because of supply shortage.
- Are you an employee concerned about your company’s lack of social distancing measures? Speak with your manager or safety officer. If unsuccessful, contact your regional OSHA office.
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- Williamsburg Landing resident hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus
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