JUST IN: Northam Extends Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

(Updated 3 p.m.) As the number of coronavirus cases grows in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam has extended restrictions on non-essential businesses.

In a press briefing today (Wednesday), Northam announced that he is extending his previous order affecting schools and non-essential businesses.

Now, his order that closed recreational and entertainment businesses, along with non-essential businesses that cannot limit patrons to 10 people or less, will expire on May 8 instead of next week.

Virginia is also under a stay at home order, which will last until June 10.

“I don’t have any intentions as of today extending that,” Northam said about the stay at home order, adding that he may considering moving the June 10 deadline back.

“This is such a dynamic situation. It is fluid. It literally changes every day — the data that are being put into these models,” he said. “For me to stand here almost two months before June 10 and say what we’re going to do at that time is really difficult to say.”

Northam said that social distancing — staying at least six feet apart from people — “is working” and that Virginians’ recent efforts are slowing the spread of the virus.

“Our entire sense of normal life is out the window,” Northam said, adding that once the order expire, people will still need to take precautions.

The “new normal” will likely include wearing wearing face coverings, teleworking if possible, social distancing, staying away from large gatherings and spending more time in homes, Northam said.

“Things are not going back exactly the way they were before,” he said.

Image via Governor of Virginia/Facebook

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