Virginia Bans Large Gatherings, Focuses Containment Efforts in Peninsula Region

Gov. Northam announced a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people as COVID-19 cases in Virginia soared to 45 on Sunday

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Gov. Ralph Northam has banned all public gatherings of more than 100 people statewide and ordered a two-week shutdown of municipal offices in an area of southeast Virginia that has been hit by a cluster of coronavirus cases.

Northam made the announcement Sunday after meeting with local officials in the Peninsula Health District, where eight people have tested positive for the virus.

Those cases include a man in his 70s who died of respiratory failure caused by the virus.

The Peninsula covers Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County and York County.

All Peninsula government offices will close to the public until at least March 30, Northam said.

Although offices will be closed, Northam said police, fire and trash services will continue to be provided.

The Virginia Health Department announced on Sunday that they were in the process of contacting 284 people on the Peninsula who were in contact with those infected with the coronavirus. According to authorities, they have already reached 200 individuals.

“If you were planning to go to a church, restaurant or bar I wouldn’t do it right now," Northam said.

Statewide, 45 people have tested positive for the virus.

Stay with News4 for more on this continuing story

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