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Northam: Restaurants, gyms can receive misdemeanor charge for breaking 10 person order

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Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 14:35:42-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam updated Virginians on the Commonwealth's coronavirus response on Saturday.

As of Saturday there are 152 cases of coronavirus in the Commonwealth and every health district has at least one case.

The third death in Fairfax, announced on Saturday, brings the number of related deaths in Virginia to three. Two of those deaths were in Hampton Roads.

The patient was said to be a male in his 60s who contracted the virus through contact with a previously reported case.

The number of people tested in Virginia is currently at 2,790.

Northam stressed the importance of social distancing and adhering to the no more than 10 people gathering order. He said restaurants, fitness centers and theaters not following the order can be charged with a misdemeanor and can lose their operating permit on the spot. "This is real. I am taking this seriously," Northam said.

Health officials said they have revised COVID-19 testing criteria prioritizing health care workers and those helping with care of people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

They are also focusing on clusters of coronavirus cases, especially if there are health care facility outbreaks.

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