Virginians Ordered to Stay At Home

Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) has issued Executive Order 55 (PDF link), which orders all Virginians to stay at home amid the worldwide COVID-19 viral outbreak. According to a statement from the governor’s office, Virginians may leave their homes only for certain permitted reasons, including “to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries [and] prescriptions, . . . and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.”

Northam also ordered all colleges and universities in Virginia to cease in-person instruction, ordered all public beaches closed, and ordered a cessation of all short-term private campground reservations.

An earlier order, Executive Order 53 (PDF link), remains in effect as well. It imposed a statewide prohibition on public gatherings of more than ten people, closed K-12 schools through the end of the academic year, directed that nonessential recreational and entertainment businesses be closed, and directed that dining areas at restaurants be closed.

Restaurants are permitted to continue offering delivery and take-out service. Essential businesses like grocery stores are permitted to stay open but have been instructed to adhere to federal social distancing guidelines. Other businesses are also permitted to stay open but must limit themselves to ten patrons at a time and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

These restrictions will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by the governor before then.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.