NORFOLK, Va. - Governor Northam issued a "stay at home" order for all Virginians during Monday's press conference.
Northam says residents are only allowed to leave their house if they need to go out for essential things such as work and grocery stores and to engage in outdoor activity with strict distancing guidelines.
The order is in effect until June 10 unless extended based on conditions.
"Social distancing and frequent hand washing and staying at home are our best tool to combat the coronavirus. Most Virginians recognize this and are complying. But I’ll say it again because I want everyone to hear me: Stay home," Governor Northam said during the press conference.
The governor's order is in response to a high rise in cases and many gatherings at beaches this past weekend.
Beaches are now closed except for those who wish to exercise and fish, Governor Northam says.
In response to how this order will be enforced, Northam says if people are seen anywhere in the state with a gathering of 10 or more, then they may be subject to a class one misdemeanor.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Virginia have now surpassed 1,000.
The Virginia Department of Health website says there are now 1,020 total cases in Virginia and 25 people have died from the virus.
12,038 people have been tested in total and 136 people have been hospitalized because of COVID-19.
The age group with the most cases is 50-59 years old at 184 cases, and the least is ages 0-9 at 7, this is as of March 30. Numbers are updated daily.
As more testing is done, the number of cases is only expected to rise. Health officials are looking at models to predict how many cases Virginia will see and when the peak will be.
"Each one shows different outcomes and timelines," said Northam. "We are working to unpack those and better understand their underlying outcomes and predictions for Virginia."
Here is a breakdown of how many cases each local area has as of 9:45 a.m. Monday:
- Chesapeake: 18
- Eastern Shore: 7
- Hampton: 9
- Norfolk: 17
- James City County: 73
- Newport News: 18
- Poquoson: 2
- Williamsburg: 7
- York County: 11
- Gloucester County: 7
- Virginia Beach: 52
- Isle of Wight County: 3
- Southampton: 1
- Suffolk: 3
- Portsmouth: 4
You can read the full executive order below:
TEMPORARY STAY AT HOME ORDER DUE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
To reinforce the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and in furtherance of Executive Orders 51 (March 12, 2020) and 53 (March 23, 2020) and by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia, I order the following:
1. All individuals in Virginia shall remain at their place of residence, except as provided below by this Order and Executive Order 53. To the extent individuals use shared or outdoor spaces, whether on land or on water, they must at all times maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members or caretakers. Individuals may leave their residences for the purpose of:
a. Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
b. Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
c. Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
d. Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
e. Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
f. Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work; 2
g. Traveling to and from an educational institution;
h. Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
i. Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.
2. All public and private in-person gatherings of more than ten individuals are prohibited. This includes parties, celebrations, religious, or other social events, whether they occur indoor or outdoor. This restriction does not apply:
a. To the operation of businesses not required to close to the public under Executive Order 53; or
b. To the gathering of family members living in the same residence.
3. Institutions of higher education shall cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than ten individuals. For purposes of facilitating remote learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions, institutions of higher education may continue to operate, provided that social distancing requirements are maintained.
4. Effective April 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds, as defined in § 35.1-1 of the Code of Virginia.
5. Closure of all public beaches as defined in § 10.1-705 of the Code of Virginia for all activity, except exercising and fishing. Social distancing requirements must be followed.
6. All relevant state agencies shall continue to work with all housing partners to execute strategies to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Virginians experiencing homelessness during this pandemic and to assist Virginians in avoiding evictions or foreclosures.
7. As provided in Executive Order 53, nothing in this Order shall limit:
(a) the provision of health care or medical services;
(b) access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks;
(c) the operations of the media;
(d) law enforcement agencies; or
(e) the operation of government.
Violation of paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia.
Effective Date of this Executive Order
This Executive Order shall be effective March 30, 2020, amends Amended Order of the Governor and State Health Commissioner Declaration of Public Health Emergency, Order of Public Health Emergency One and Executive Order 53, and shall remain in full force and in effect until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 30th day of March, 2020.