The number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Virginia is continuing to rise. As of Thursday, the Virginia Department of Health has reported a total of 1,706 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. 41 people have died in Virginia and 246 have been hospitalized.
However, according to state officials, the number of cases could be higher due to underreporting by local health districts and individual health facilities.
With a third of the entire world on lockdown, including most of the United States, this trend of “social distancing” shows no sign of easing up. In fact, due to the high infection rate of COVID-19 in Virginia, Democrat Governor Ralph Northam issued a “stay at home” order on Monday afternoon. This came hours after Maryland gave the same order.
The Virginia quarantine order will remain in effect until June 10, a total of 72 days. The order can always be overturned if Governor Northam finds a reason to do so, however, this seems unlikely as hospitals are overwhelmed with sick patients in many areas of the state, not to mention other areas of the country like New York City.
Northam’s order is intended to curb the virus by putting strict measures on the population’s movements. Virginia residents can continue to grocery shop, obtain medical needs, and continue their banking. Virginia’s parks remain open, however sunbathing, swimming, and beach access are prohibited. Schools and universities also remained closed and on-line learning continues. Only essential businesses remain open, gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited, and residents are ordered to stay at home.
Penalties will be imposed on Virginians who defy the order. For example, a non-essential business that does not shut its doors could be penalized, as well as anyone hosting a party, religious event, or any other large gathering.
According to Northam, those who violate these coronavirus orders will be subject to a class one misdemeanor. Enforcing the stay at home mandate seems necessary to some healthcare professionals who warn that death rates could spike significantly if too many patients with COVID-19 are admitted into hospitals at the same time.
The fewer hospitalizations that take place, the less the coronavirus will spread among health care workers. Other areas of the nation are jumping on board with implementing mandatory stay at home orders, such as in Washington D.C. and Maryland, where residents could face up to 90 days in jail, along with a $5,000 fine for violating the orders.