RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a stay-at-home order for the state of Virginia on Monday.
According to Governor Northam, the order to stay home comes after beaches and other popular places in Virginia were packed.
Everyone must remain in their residence unless they need essentials or essential services, like food, essential work or medical care.
All schools and universities of higher education will be closed, as will all campgrounds and public beaches, excluding the need for exercise.
All gathering of ten or more people prohibited and anyone with the ability to work remotely is encouraged to do so.
You can watch Governor Northam’s press conference on the stay-at-home order on our Facebook page below:
Governor Northam has asked anyone who has traveled out of the state, particularly in virus hotspots, to self-quarantine.
Governor Northam said models are currently in the works to acquire more emergency beds in Virginia, and a surge in cases that require hospitalizations is expected.
Northam mentioned Lonesome Pine Hospital’s designation as a COVID-19 hospital as an example of Virginians responding to combat the virus.
When asked how the order will apply to non-essential offices and businesses, Northam said businesses are encouraged to follow the 10 or more rule but they will be required to close if they do not do so.
Northam said if groups of 10 or more people are found congregating, especially in public areas, they can be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
Northam said social distancing and handwashing are the best tools Virginians have to combat the virus.
During the outbreak, Northam said food distribution sites have seen a 20-30% increase in visits, prompting the USDA to grant permission to open foodbanks for anyone to use across the state.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 1,020 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state on Monday, with 25 reported deaths.