Governor Northam Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Order in Response to COVID-19

2 min read Effective immediately, “all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances,” according to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order Fifty-Three.

Governor Ralph Northam

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By: Camden Lazenby | clazenby2@radford.edu

Effective immediately, “all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances,” according to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order Fifty-Three – the newest government decree is further seeking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The order is in place until June 10 and stacks on top of last week’s Executive Order Fifty-Three, which closed nonessential businesses and prohibited gatherings of 10 or more people. Families of 10 or more who live in the same residence are excluded from the prohibition.

Virginians may still leave their homes for the following reasons: 

  • to obtain food or beverages
  • to seek medical, social services, governmental, law enforcement or emergency services
  • to take care of individuals or animals or visit the home of a family member
  • travel required by a court or to facilitate child custody or visitation
  • to travel between work, religious engagements or educational institutions
  • to volunteer with charitable organizations
  • if you have a reasonable fear for your health or safety

“Our message today is very clear,” said Northam during his speech on Monday Afternoon, “that is to stay home.”

“Social distancing and frequent hand-washing are our best tools 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.”

Northam thanked healthcare professionals during his speech but chastised those who have not yet begun social isolation.

“But this weekend, some of our beaches and other recreational areas were literally packed,” said Northam. “Everyone who is gathering in a crowd at any place around the state is putting themselves and others at risk, so today I’m announcing a stay at home order for all Virginians.”

The new order says, “all higher education shall cease all in-person classes and instruction,” and additionally says, “all public beaches are closed for all activity, except exercising and fishing. Social distancing requirements must be followed.”

Privately owned campgrounds will not be allowed to book reservations for stays of less than 14 nights, beginning April 1.

Those who don’t abide by the executive order will be charged a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

As of Tuesday, there are 1,250 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 165 hospitalizations, and 27 deaths reported across Virginia, according to Virginia Department of Health.

Photo Credit: (Virginia Government)