In a press conference this afternoon, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will be going under a stay-at-home order until June 10th. Effective immediately, Virginian residents will be unable to leave their homes aside from essential business, including grocery stores and doctor’s offices. Residents traveling for essential business are encouraged to adhere to social distancing and basic safety practices. Meetings of groups greater than 10 can now be punishable as class 1 misdemeanors.
With over 1,000 reported COVID-19 cases in Virginia as of March 30th, this stay at home order attempts to ensure the safety of its residents by “flattening the curve” of the COVID-19 spread. Virginia follows 27 other states with some form of shelter-in-place/stay-at-home orders. It is expected that other states will follow this trend, as national cases of coronavirus climb over 140,000, and over 2,000 deaths, making America the most infected country in the world.
Earlier this month, Governor Northam encouraged residents to prepare for “months not weeks.” With Virginia’s new Shelter in place order, this statement is clearer now than ever.