Stay home! Governor tightens public limits

March 31, 2020

Stay at home, says Gov. Ralph Northam.

Monday afternoon, the governor issued an executive order, effective immediately, directing all Virginians not to leave their homes “except in extremely limited circumstances,” according to a press release. The order will remain in effect until June 10 “unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.”

Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including:

• To and from your home, job or place of worship.

• To obtain food, beverages, goods or services from businesses that have not already been ordered to close.

• To get medical attention, essential social services, government services, police assistance or emergency services.

• To take care of other people or animals or to visit a family member.

• Court-ordered travel or to address child custody, visitation or care.

• To and from a school.

• Volunteering with charitable or social service organizations.

Also, the order allows people to “engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements,” the release states.

Further, the order directs all Virginia higher education institutions to stop any remaining in-person classes and instruction. Private campgrounds must close for short-term stays and beaches will be closed statewide except for fishing and exercise.

“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” Northam said. “Our message to Virginians is clear: Stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

Last week, Northam issued an executive order closing certain non-essential businesses, prohibiting public gatherings of more than 10 people and directing all K-12 schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year.