Governor Northam is ordering Virginia residents to remain at home as the state takes new steps in efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order permits you to leave home for any number of essential services like food, banking and medical attention. The governor issued his new directive this afternoon.The order still permits many outdoor activities as long as they follow the guidelines of no more than 10 people, with everyone at least six feet apart. One exception: no beaches, swimming and sunbathing. The order is similar to those already announced by the governors of neighboring North Carolina and Maryland.
The order comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia now tops 1,000. The Virginia Department of Health today reports 1,020 cases and 25 deaths.
NEWS RELEASE: RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.
The order directs all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three
, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.
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.
“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” said Governor Northam. “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.”
The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Five can be found here
Last week, Governor 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. A Frequently Asked Questions guide about Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here