Coronavirus in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Northam Issues Stay-at-Home Order

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What to Know

  • Residents of Virginia must stay at home unless they are getting food, medical attention or help from law enforcement, among other essentials.
  • The state does allow residents to go outside to take care of loved ones and animals, travel to child care, exercise, travel to work and volunteer with charitable groups.
  • Those who fail to comply could face a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 and a year in prison.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order telling Virginians to stay at home effective immediately.

Northam said he issued the order because people are not following guidelines they remain in their residences. He noted large crowds of people gathering at beaches and other places over the weekend.

"You are being very, very selfish," Northam said. "You are putting all of us, especially our health care providers, at risk."

Those who fail to comply could face a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 and a year in prison.

All people in Virginia must stay at home unless they are getting food, medical attention or help from law enforcement, among other essentials.

The state does allow residents to go outside to take care of loved ones and animals, travel to child care, exercise, travel to work and volunteer with charitable groups.

Also, you can leave home “due to a reasonable fear for health or safety.”

Additionally, stays of less than 14 nights at private campgrounds are closed as of April 1. Public beaches are closed except for exercising and fishing. 

All institutions of higher learning in the commonwealth must stop in person classes and instruction. The commonwealth must wait to see how much money it gets from the federal government before determining if and how universities can be assisted.

Prisoners who are old or were sentenced before 1996 may be eligible for early release. But it needs to be determined if there is a home health plan in place for those inmates.

The order is in effect until June 10 and could be extended or rescinded by another executive order. 

All restaurants must only offer takeout, delivery or drive-thru service, under an executive order that went into place March 23. Dining rooms, food courts, breweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and farmers markets must close.

All recreational and entertainment businesses also must remain closed, per the March 23 order. These include bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers and race tracks.

Any “personal care services” that cannot adhere to social distancing also must remain closed, including barbershops, massage parlors and spas.

Businesses allowed to remain open include: grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, electronics stores, auto part stores, liquor stores, gas stations, banks, pet food stores and laundromats. Here's the executive order covering what's essential.

All non-essential stores can remain open but are limited to having only 10 patrons at a time. They must “adhere to social distancing and increase sanitization.” Any gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

Virginia has 18,000 hospital beds, including 2,000 in intensive care units. A field hospital has been established at Mary Washington Healthcare. An old dorm at Virginia Commonwealth University is being used as a hospital. Lonesome Pine Hospital in southwest Virginia is being used for acute and emergency care.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also issued a stay-at-home order Monday, effective at 8 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Health includes probable cases in its county-level data. For the state total NBC Washington is only including confirmed cases.

CORRECTION (March 31, 2020, 3:15 p.m. ET): This story has been updated from a previous version. Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg has set up a field hospital, not the nearby University of Mary Washington.

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