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Governor Northam bans all gatherings in Virginia with more than 100 people

The number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia is up to 45. One person on the Peninsula has died. Northam has banned all events in the state with more than 100 people.

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. — One day after the first death in Virginia connected to COVID-19 was reported, Governor Northam gave updates on how the state is responding.

In a conference call with media outlets, the governor said the number of novel coronavirus cases is up to 45 as of Sunday, March 15. That's up four cases from Saturday. More than 400 people in the Commonwealth have been tested.

He ordered all local governments on the Peninsula to close for the next two weeks, including Hampton, James City County, Newport News, Williamsburg, Poquoson and York County.

Trash services, as well as police and fire operations, will continue to operate as normal.

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However, as the outbreak continues, Northam is banning all events statewide with more than 100 people. This ban excludes retail establishments, airports and restaurants where normal operations can continue.

He's also discouraging visits to restaurants, bars and churches on the Peninsula.

Northam said the safety of all Virginians is the highest priority right now.

"Social distancing now can save lives later," Northam said.

Other city and health officials spoke on the local responses to COVID-19.

That includes Dr. Tom Franck, the Acting District Director of the Peninsula Health District. He says the district is busy contacting more than 400 people who may have come into contact with the people in James City County who tested positive for the virus and offering self-quarantine instruction.

"Our main goal is containment," Dr. Franck said on the call.

The district has also activated an Incident Management Team.

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The chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors and the mayor of Williamsburg were also on the call. 

Governor Northam was in Virginia Beach on Saturday to tour a Sentara Healthcare COVID-19 Incident Command Center. He addressed ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus, as well.

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