Governor Northam’s COVID-19 Briefing – 3/23/2020

SCHOOL AND BUSINESS CLOSURE

  • All schools to remain closed through the end of this academic year
  • Executive Order (EO) – 53 to be issued effective midnight tomorrow (03-24-2020)
    • All recreation and entertainment – closed
    • Restaurants and beverage services – closed except for pickup and delivery service
    • Nonessential brick & mortar establishments – open if can adhere to 10 or fewer patrons and social distancing; otherwise, must close
      • Includes churches
    • Essential businesses and services to remain open – grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and supply chain. Examples of businesses that can remain open:
      • Grocery stores
      • Pharmacies
      • Banks
      • Hospitals
      • ABC stores
      • Construction
    • Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned
    • EO effective for at least 30 days
  • All businesses that can remain open must adhere to social distancing and >10 patrons
    • Must increase sanitizing and disinfectant practices
    • Follow CDC, OSHA, and Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Guidelines

PUBLIC EDUCATON

  • Virginia Department of Education working to issue guidance on:
    • Testing requirements
    • Graduation
    • Distance learning
    • Extending next school year
    • Curriculum
  • Approved meal service sites: or call 2-1-1

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • Local law enforcement is empowered to issue warnings to residents and businesses who do not adhere to EO 53
  • Goal at this time is not to penalize but to encourage / warn

PUBLIC HEALTH & TESTING

  • Situation is fluid and changing every day
  • Concerns about hospital capacity and growing number of COVID-19 cases
  • State continues to mobilize PPE, COVID-19 tests, and related supplies
  • Extensive outreach to private labs and hospitals
    • State to create database in partnership with Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
  • Working on a model for testing and infection rate

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment rate expected to rise dramatically
  • Analyzing payroll data
  • Monitoring any price gouging

PERSONAL HEALTH

  • Stay home when you can
  • Wash hands and practice social distancing
  • Monitor behavioral and mental health of yourself and others – depression, alcoholism, domestic violence