Va. to shutdown all non-essential businesses, close all schools for rest of academic year

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks a press conference in Richmond, Va. on Monday, March 23, 2020. The governor said Monday he is closing Virginia schools for the rest of the school year. (Dean Hoffmeyer/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

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UPDATED 7:06 AM PT — Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Virginia has become the latest state to announce a sweeping wave of restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. State Gov. Ralph Northam (D) unveiled the new restrictions on Monday, which call for all schools in the state to close for the rest of the academic school year.

The measure also requires all dine-in restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters and other entertainment venues to close their doors until further notice. Northam noted that his main priority is keeping Virginians healthy.

“Social distancing is the only path forward, that’s why I’m directing these business closures today,” he stated. “That is why I’m closing our schools; our priority is to save lives.”

This decision came after officials confirmed more than 250 people have tested positive for the virus in the state.

Sara Black, a teacher at Glen Lea Elementary School in Henrico County near Richmond, Va., hugs a student goodbye on Friday, March 13, 2020. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday ordered all schools in Virginia to close for at least two weeks as the coronavirus spreads, a move that follows similar orders in several other states. (Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

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