Following the closure of all Virginia public schools ordered by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Northam issued a “Stay-at-Home Order” on Monday to prevent the spread of “COVID-19.”
While the amount of confirmed cases has risen to 1,251 statewide, it is advised that all Virginians follow the limitations of this order to put a stop to the pandemic.
The order states that all individuals can leave their residencies for the purpose of:
A.) Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
B.) Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
C.) Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
D.) Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
E.) Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
F.) Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
G.) Traveling to and from an educational institution;
H.) Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
I.) Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.
The order also prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals, but not applying:
A.) To the operation of businesses not required to close to the public under Executive Order 53; or
B.) To the gathering of family members living in the same residence.
Persons who violate these policies may be fined up to $2,500 and serve up to a year in jail time. The order has been placed into effect immediately, it will prolong to June 10 unless cancelled on early notice.
In his announcement to the public, Northam expressed “I want to be clear, do not go out unless you need to go out. This is very different than wanting to go out,” he stated.
He included, "This has been a suggestion to Virginians. Today, it’s an order.”