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UPDATE: Governor's order gives police authority to enforce gathering limit of 10 people

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

PHOTO: Facebook/Governor of Virginia

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Ralph Northam issued an order that gives law enforcement the authority to enforce the gathering limit of 10 people across Virginia.

The public health emergency order issued along with State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver prohibits that there be more than 10 customers in restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters.

“I hope that everyone will have the common sense to stay home tonight and in the days ahead,” Northam said. “This order will ensure that state and local officials have the tools they need to keep people safe.”

The full order is available here.


RICHMOND, VA – At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Governor Ralph Northam announced that there are 67 COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth.

Northam also announced a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

The 75 Department of Motor Vehicles offices, as well as mobile units, will close to the public. 

Online services will remain available, and anyone needing to renew a license or vehicle registration is encouraged to do so online.

For those who cannot renew online, or whose license or registration expires before May 15, DMV will grant a 60-day extension.

The Governor announced the following actions to protect working Virginians impacted by the outbreak:

  • No waiting for unemployment benefits. Governor Northam has directed the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible.

  • Enhanced eligibility for unemployment. Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19. If a worker has been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and is not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. In addition, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.

  • Fewer restrictions. For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, Governor Northam is directing the Virginia Employment Commission to give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.

All restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters are mandated to significantly reduce their capacity to 10 people, or close.

Restaurants are encouraged to continue carry-out and takeaway options.

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