On March 17, the Governor and the State Health Commissioner issued an order declaring a public health emergency in Virginia and prohibiting restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters from operating with more than 10 customers present. Violation of the order is a criminal offense. Businesses may continue to provide carry-out and delivery options.
On March 17, Governor Northam recommended that individuals with chronic health conditions or age 65 or older should self-quarantine, because they are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. He encouraged neighbors and friends to stay in touch and regularly check in with high-risk individuals.
On March 16, President Trump issued a recommendation calling on Americans to follow the direction of state and local authorities. The White House recommendation also includes staying home when sick; working from home whenever possible; avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people; avoiding discretionary travel and shopping trips; and avoiding eating or drinking in restaurants, bars and public food courts. The recommendation encourages the use of drive-through, pickup or delivery options when patronizing local businesses.
Individuals should modify regular activities in public by practicing social distancing by maintaining six feet of personal space whenever possible, and frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Individuals should also utilize alternative greetings to handshakes, such as elbow bumps or bows.
City employees are working remotely to the extent feasible while maintaining core services. The City encourages all employers to maximize telework opportunities for employees whenever possible, both to increase social distancing and to help reduce the impact of school closures.