Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued a “stay home” order for state residents Monday, joining the Maryland governor, who made a similar announcement this morning.
Residents may leave their residences only for essential reasons, such as going to the supermarket, seeking medical care or a government service, caring for a family member or loved one, volunteering, or if their work warrants it. Likewise, pets may go for a walk and exercise outdoors as long as they abide by the rules of social distancing, that is, they stay at least six feet away from each other, with the exception of family members or members of the same living place.
The order will be in effect until June 10 and could be extended. Here you can see the complete document.
Coronavirus cases in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia continue to rise. On Sunday, the highest number of deaths in the region in a single day from complications related to the virus was reported. In Virginia, some 1,020 cases had been confirmed and at least 25 deaths had been recorded as of Monday morning.
Violations of the order could result in a Class I misdemeanor charge and / or a fine.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, dollar and electronics stores, auto shops, liquor stores, gas stations, banks, pet stores, laundry services and more will remain open. Restaurants and other food establishments may continue to offer food to arrive and home delivery, according to the order issued by Northam on March 23.
Other non-essential establishments may continue operating but limiting themselves to serving only 10 clients at a time and abiding by social distancing measures. Meetings of 10 people or more are prohibited. Entertainment venues must remain closed.
Virginia has 18,000 hospital beds, including 2,000 in intensive care units. A former Virginia Commonwealth University student residence has been transformed into a health center. Lonesome Pine Hospital in Southwest Virginia is being used as an emergency and acute care center.
This is a developing story.