Governor orders recreation and entertainment businesses to close amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 15:26:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam announced new restrictions on businesses Monday including the closure of all recreation and entertainment services in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Northam's announcement Monday comes as the state announced that the number of people testing positive for the virus continues to rise and is now at 254, 35 more than Sunday.

The governor also signed Executive Order 53 which put additional restrictions on some businesses. The rules will remain in effect for at least 30 days.

"I want to be clear, essential businesses will remain open," he said. "These are things like grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks. You will still be able to buy food and necessary supplies for you and your family. Restaurants can remain open for carryout, curbside, and delivery service only."

Starting Tuesday at midnight, all recreation and entertainment centers like bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers, and racetracks are ordered to closed.

While essential services can remain open, they must follow 10-patron cap, social distancing, and increased sanitation guidelines.

Personal care services that can't social distance must close, Northam added.

"I also want to be clear about the expectations for essential businesses that remain open," he said. "Social distancing matters everywhere. So essential businesses that remain open have a responsibility to adhere to social distancing recommendations. You need to step up sanitizing practices on common surfaces."

Northam says the actions are all in an effort to protect Virginians.

“COVID-19 is serious and we must act,” said Northam. “Unfortunately the virus does not respect borders or state boarders. It is now everywhere, or will be soon.”

Stay with CBS for the latest on this developing story.