Virginia shutdown extended by two weeks
Gov. Ralph Northam has extended the closure of some businesses and other social restrictions for an additional two weeks, through May 8.
The governor announced the decision Wednesday.
The extended Executive Order 53 banned public gatherings of more than 10 people; closed recreation, entertainment and personal care businesses; and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery service.
“As we have seen from our data and models, social distancing is working, and we are slowing the spread of this virus,” the nation’s only physician-governor said. “But it is too early to let up. By extending this order to keep certain businesses closed or restricted, we can continue to evaluate the situation and plan for how to eventually ease restrictions so that our businesses may operate without endangering public health.”
Executive Order 55, which directs Virginians to stay home unless they must leave for essential services, remains in effect until June 10.
For assistance, resources from across state government, and up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Also Wednesday, Northam announced an additional $70 million through the federal CARES Act to further support the provision of child care for essential personnel.
In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Department of Education, the stimulus funding will provide additional avenues to ensure the availability of child care services for essential personnel and cash assistance to child care providers.
Across Virginia, approximately 2,672 child care centers — nearly 45 percent — have closed, according to a press release.
The funds will provide incentive grants to child care providers that are open, from now through the end of June; eliminate co-payments through June for low-income, working families who receive federal child care subsidy dollars; prepare schools to act as emergency child care centers, where needed; and provide additional funding for child care providers that participate in the federal subsidy program, but have had to close.
Parents who serve in essential industries and are in need of child care services should visit Child Care Aware at VAchildcare.org or call 1-866-KIDS-TLC for an up-to-date list of child care options in their area.
Monday, the governor announced a major expansion of Virtual Virginia, the education department’s online learning system, to allow teachers to host virtual classes while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These resources include a platform that enables all Virginia public school teachers to share lessons and activities with their students through June 30.
Virtual Virginia will expand its offerings to include elementary and middle school content as an option for students to learn content missed this spring. Courses will begin in May and the new course content will be available to any school division that enrolls students and teachers in the program, at no cost to the division.
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