Monday Update: Northam Closes K-12 Schools Through Remainder of Academic Year

Mar 23, 2020

The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed at least 254 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.

During a press conference Monday, Governor Northam also placed additional restrictions on businesses that are not considered essential services. All recreational and entertainment businesses are to close by midnight Tuesday. Non-essential retail stores can remain open, but will only be able to serve 10 patrons at a time and must adhere to strict sanitation procedures. Restaurants can remain open as well, but only for carryout, curbside or delivery.

Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.

Things like grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will remain open. All gatherings of 10 or more people have been banned.

Credit CDC

The closings will remain in effect for at least 30 days.

Northam said keeping schools closed is essential to preventing further spread of the virus. Individual school divisions will get to decide how students can best learn the information that was meant to be covered over the rest of the academic year. The governor also said his administration is working to ensure graduating students can still receive their diplomas.

Day care facilities will remain open, but with an increased emphasis on children of essential services employees.

You can find an FAQ regarding Northam's announcement here.

A seventh Virginian has now died of COVID-19. The Virginia Beach Health District says the man was in his 70's and had underlying health issues. A contact investigation is underway and officials are working to identify the source of transmission.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.