Saturday, January 28, 2023

Northam extends order for non-essential businesses as Virginia’s coronavirus cases goes over 6K; death toll, 195

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

Some businesses may have to stay closed for a few more weeks.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday Executive Order 53 which applies to non-essential businesses will be extended for two more weeks to May 8.

The stay-at-home order remains in effect until June 10.

“We need to be clear things are not going back exactly like they were before,” he said. “Together we will figure out how to  build a new normal.”

As of Wednesday, James City County has 132 cases, Newport News has 95, Hampton has 75, York County has 35, Williamsburg has 19 and Poquoson has 6, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

There are now 6,500 positive cases and 195 deaths statewide. At least 11 people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath 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.

Non-essential businesses included, but not limited to, bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers, racetracks, barbershops, spas and massage parlors.

Restaurants, ABC stores, breweries, wineries and other establishment can remain open for carry-out, curbside pick-up and deliveries only.

Other non-essential businesses, such as retail, can stay open as long as the businesses continue to sanitize, keep patrons to fewer than 10 and maintain social distancing.

Essential services unaffected by the governor’s executive order are grocery stores, pharmacies and banks, but they must adhere to sanitation and social distancing measures.

Recreation and entertainment businesses

The following recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public:

  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;
  • Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.

Dining and on-site alcohol establishments

All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.

  • Restaurants;
  • Dining establishments;
  • Food courts;
  • Farmers markets;
  • Breweries;
  • Microbreweries;
  • Distilleries;
  • Wineries; and
  • Tasting rooms.


The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
  • Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
  • Retail located within healthcare facilities;
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
  • Pet stores and feed stores;
  • Printing and office supply stores; and
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.

Childcare centers

“Today I am pleased to announce $70 mill from CARES act will go to support these essential workers with children under age 12 and the hardworking early childhood educators,” Northam said.

  • Flexible cash assistance to centers now open
  • Prepare schools as emergency childcare centers where needed
  • Eliminate co-payments until June to families with federal childcare subsidies
  • More funding available to centers that use federal childcare subsidies but have closed
  • Childcare providers: Resources here or call 1-866-KIDS-TLC.
  • Find childcare near you: Visit this website or call 1-866-KIDS-TLC


  • Testing capacity unknown
  • VA is working to broaden testing
  • Racial data available: 3,904 cases
  • African-Americans make up 30 percent of cases and 35 percent of deaths

Other updates

  • Virginia Tech shooting anniversary is Thursday: All flags lowered to half staff.
  • State tax deadline: June 1. Can’t be extended because of state budget.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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