On Monday March 23, Governor Ralph Northam extended his order closing all public and private K-12 schools in Virginia for at least the remainder of the school year. The measure is in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. 

This proclamation builds on the Governor’s previous school closure order and previously issued guidance asking child care providers to prioritize services for children of essential personnel, while asking all families to keep their children home if they can.

The Executive Order, EO-53, goes into effect at midnight on Tuesday, March 24. Northam announced the measures during a press conference Monday at 2:00 p.m. EO-53 includes other measures and restrictions, including:

  • “Restaurants can remain open for carryout, curbside and delivery service only.
  • “All recreation and entertainment services such as bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers, or race tracks must close.
  • “Personal care services that cannot adhere to social distancing like barbershops, spas, massage parlors must close.
  • “Non-essential retail establishments can remain open if they can allow 10 or fewer patrons and adhere to social distancing and increase sanitization procedures.
  • “Essential services like grocery stores,  health services, and businesses in our supply chain will remain open. But they must adhere to social distancing and increased sanitizing procedures.
  • “Gatherings of more than 10 are banned.

“These measures will be in effect statewide for at least 30 days,” Northam declared.

Northam reported that as of noon on Monday, the Commonwealth has had 254 positive cases of the coronavirus and six deaths.