Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders that are prohibiting all Virginia residents from leaving home except for trips that are deemed essential today, Monday, March 30. Trips that are deemed essential are trips for food and medicine as well as doctors’ offices. The lockdown began Monday, at 8:00 p.m. statewide.
As of March 30th, 130 new cases were announced while neighboring Maryland reported 174 new cases. This meant that the number of known coronavirus cases in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia was 2,840. Of these reported cases, 1,414 cases in were in Maryland, 405 in Washington D.C. and the remaining 1,021 confirmed cases in Virginia. According The New York Times live confirmed case count, this placed Virginia at number 21 for confirmed cases out of all 50 states and United States territories. (New York Times, Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count) As of Monday, there are 51 reported fatalities in Virginia. *these numbers may have changed since this article was written.*
The Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Governor posted a new Executive Order, number 55 titled, TEMPORARY STAY AT HOME ORDER DUE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). According to the order,
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:
- Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
- Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
- Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
- Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or childcare;
- Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
- Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
- Traveling to and from an educational institution;
- Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
- 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.
This means that you can in fact face consequence from law enforcement if you are not complying with social distancing. found gathering with 10 or more people while testing positive for COVID-19,you can face up to $2,500 and/or 12 months in jail.
Northam spoke about the new laws during a briefing on March 30.
“This is not a time that we are looking to put people in jail but it’s a time when I expect all Virginians to comply,” Northam said,”If there’s more than 10 people that are gathering or congregating then they can be subject to a class 1 misdemeanor.”
The commonwealth of Virginia Executive Order number 55 can be found here.
For live coronavirus updates regarding Virginia, the district, and Maryland visit the Washington Post link below.
The New York Timeslive coronavirus count-(https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html)