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Governor Ralph Northam issues stay-at-home order to fight COVID-19 in Virginia

The governor said the order to stay at home is intended to protect the health and safety of people in the state and to combat the spread of coronavirus.

RICHMOND, Va. — For weeks, Governor Ralph Northam repeatedly encouraged people to stay at home to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On Monday, his encouragement became official.

Northam issued a stay-at-home order for Virginia, effective immediately. He said the order would be in place until June 10 unless it was amended or if another executive order was issued.

The order directs everyone in Virginia to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. People are allowed to leave their homes for "allowable travel," which includes getting medical attention, work, and care for family or household members. People also are allowed to obtain goods and services including groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.

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The executive order also directs all institutions of higher education in Virginia to stop 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.”

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Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three prior to Monday. It closed certain non-essential businesses, prohibited public gatherings of more than 10 people, and directed all K-12 schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year. A Frequently Asked Questions guide about Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here.