Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay at home order for all Virginians that will be in effect until June 10 unless otherwise rescinded or extended.
Northam made the announcement in a press conference today, and said that those congregating in groups of ten or more could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. The order requires that Virginians stay at home unless they are getting food, medical attention, going to work or getting a little fresh air.
“To date, this has been a suggestion,” Northam said. “Today, it’s an order.”
The escalation comes as Virginia faces 1020 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths. In Alexandria, there are 32 confirmed cases and no deaths so far.
“We are not looking to put people in jail, but at this time when I expect all Virginians to comply,” Northam said. “If we see people gathered in any place throughout Virginia, like beaches or parks, then that will be enforced.”
Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow he supported the governor’s order.
“We’ve been encouraging residents to stay at home for a few weeks now to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Wilson said. “The Governor’s order helps provide further support for that messaging. We hope that residents will respect this order so that we can support our health workers working day and night to keep us safe.”
Del. Charniele Herring and City Councilman John Chapman also took to social media to encourage Alexandrians to follow the order.
Please stay home Virginia.
— Charniele Herring (@C_Herring) March 30, 2020
It is time to stay at home, Virginia folks. Governor of Virginia has issued an Executive Order, mandating Virginia to stay at home due to COVID.
Orders from the state have already forced Alexandria restaurants to reduce service to only takeout and deliveries, which Northam said has not changed.
I'm making an important announcement about our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia and save lives.
Posted by Governor of Virginia on Monday, March 30, 2020
Photo via Governor of Virginia/Facebook