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NUMBER SIXTY-ONE (2020)
ORDER OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY THREE
PHASE ONE EASING OF CERTAIN TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS
DUE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Importance of the Issue
On March 12, 2020, I declared a state of emergency existed in the Commonwealth due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a communicable disease of public health threat. In that Order, I banned out-of-state travel for state employees, with some limited exceptions. The next day, I closed all K-12 schools for two weeks. Two days later, I ordered a statewide ban on public events of more than 100 people according to guidance from the Center on Disease Control and Prevention. On March 17, 2020, the State Health Commissioner and I issued Order of Public Health Emergency One (Health Order No. 1), later amended, which limited restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters to 10 or fewer patrons.
On March 23, 2020, I issued Executive Order 53. That Order closed certain recreational and entertainment business, limited the operations of non-essential retail businesses, restaurants and dining establishments, and banned gatherings of more than 10 people. It also closed all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic school year and urged Virginians to stay home except for essential travel. Executive Order 55, which was issued on March 30, 2020, established a temporary Stay at Home Order unless carrying out a necessary life function and continued limiting all in-person gatherings to 10 people or fewer. It also ceased in-person instruction of less than 10 people at all institutions of higher education, restricted certain reservations at privately-owned campgrounds, and closed all public beaches except for exercising and fishing.
The objective of these actions was to slow the spread of this virulent and deadly disease. These extreme measures were necessary to save lives. By issuing the Stay at Home Order, encouraging physical distancing and teleworking, restricting businesses and gatherings, we lowered transmission rates. These measures also prevented our healthcare systems from being overwhelmed—affording our healthcare systems and healthcare providers time to acquire the tools and resources necessary to respond to the virus. Equally as important, these measures were also necessary to prepare Virginians for the new normal of living and working in the midst of a pandemic.
Now, we must set the path forward. While Virginia’s efforts and sacrifices seem to have slowed the spread of the virus, we know it is still present. It is critical that as we begin to ease some of the restrictions in the next phase of our response, we remain vigilant, cautious, and measured. We cannot race back to the lives we led before the pandemic. The path forward will not be business as usual. We must remember to continue to practice physical distancing, to continue teleworking, whenever possible, to wash our hands frequently, to not touch our faces, and to wear face covering whenever possible. These measures, as well as the ones outlined below, are meant to make necessary ventures outside of your home safer, but everyone, especially those who may be more vulnerable to the virus, must understand we are all safer at home.
Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia, by § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia, by any other applicable law, and in furtherance of Executive Order 51, and by virtue of the authority vested in the State Health Commissioner pursuant to §§ 32.1-13, 32.1-20, and 35.1-10 of the Code of Virginia, the following is ordered:
EASING OF BUSINESS RESTRICTIONS
Any businesses, not listed in this section, should adhere to the Guidelines for All Business Sectors expressly incorporated by reference herein as best practices. This guidance is located here.
Restaurants, Dining Establishments, Food Courts, Breweries, Microbreweries, Distilleries, Wineries, and Tasting Rooms
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms may operate delivery, take-out, and outdoor dining and beverage services only, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors, and sector-specific guidance for restaurant and beverage services incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, farmers markets may reopen, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for farmers markets incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Brick And Mortar Retail Businesses Not Listed In Section C, Paragraph 1 (Non-Essential Retail)
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, any brick and mortar retail business not listed in section C, paragraph 1 may continue to operate, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidance for brick and mortar retail expressly incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Fitness and Exercise Facilities
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, sports facilities, and exercise facilities may reopen for outdoor activities only. Indoor activities are prohibited. Outdoor activities may be conducted provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for fitness and exercise facilities expressly incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Personal Care and Personal Grooming Services
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage centers, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed may reopen, provided such businesses comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for personal care and personal grooming services expressly incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, privately-owned campgrounds, as defined in § 35.1-1 of the Code of Virginia may reopen, provided they comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines for campgrounds, which are expressly incorporated by reference herein. Such guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
Indoor Shooting Ranges
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, indoor shooting ranges may reopen, provided they comply with the following requirements:
Guidelines for All Business Sectors and the sector-specific guidelines appear here. The Virginia Department of Health shall have authority to enforce section A of this Order. Any willful violation or refusal, failure, or neglect to comply with this Order, issued pursuant to § 32.1-13 of the Code of Virginia is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia. The State Health Commissioner may also seek injunctive relief in circuit court for violation of this Order, pursuant to § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia. In addition, any agency with regulatory authority over a business listed in section A may enforce this Order as to that business to the extent permitted by law.
Certain Recreational and Entertainment Businesses
All public access to recreational and entertainment businesses set forth below shall remain closed:
All Public And Private In-Person Gatherings
All public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals are prohibited. The presence of more than 10 individuals performing functions of their employment is not a “gathering.” A “gathering” includes, but is not limed to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, whether they occur indoors or outdoors.
This restriction does not apply to the gathering of family members living in the same residence. “Family members” include blood relations, adopted, step, and foster relations, as well as all individuals residing in the same household. Family members are not required to maintain physical distancing while in their homes.
Further, any social gathering held in connection with a religious service is subject to the public and private in-person gatherings restriction in section B, paragraph 2. Additional suggested guidance can be found here.
K-12 schools, public and private, will continue to be closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Those facilities providing child care services may remain open.
Institutions of Higher Education
Institutions of higher education shall continue to cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than ten individuals. For purposes of facilitating remote learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions, institutions of higher education may continue to operate, provided that social distancing requirements are maintained.
Continued closure of all public beaches as defined in § 10.1-705 of the Code of Virginia for all activity, except exercising and fishing. Physical distancing requirements must be followed.
Overnight Summer Camps
Overnight services of summer camps, as defined in § 35.1-1 of the Code of Virginia, must cease.
Violations of section B paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia.
CONTINUED GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION
Essential Retail Businesses
Essential retail businesses as set out below may remain open during their normal business hours. They should comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors expressly incorporated by referenced and linked here, as best practices. Employers are required to provide face coverings to employees.
All relevant state agencies shall continue to work with all housing partners to execute strategies to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Virginians experiencing homelessness during this pandemic and to assist Virginians in avoiding evictions or foreclosures.
The waiver of § 18.2-422 of the Code of Virginia is continued, so as to allow the wearing of a medical mask, respirator, or any other protective face covering for the purpose of facilitating the protection of one’s personal health in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the State Health Commissioner on February 7, 2020, and reflected in Executive Order 51 declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth. Executive Order 51 remains so amended. This waiver is effective as of March 12, 2020.
Large State Events
Continued cancellation of all specially-scheduled state conferences and large events.
Continued cessation of all official travel outside of Virginia by state employees, with increased flexibility for inter-state commuters and essential personnel.
Nothing in the Order shall limit: (a) the provision of health care or medical services; (b) access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; (c) the operations of the media; (d) law enforcement agencies; or (e) the operation of government.
Expiration of Order
Amended Order of the Governor and State Health Commissioner Declaration of Public Health Emergency, Order of Public Health Emergency One shall expire on at 11:59 p.m., on May 14, 2020.
Effective Date of this Executive Order
This Order shall be effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020. This Order further amends Executive Order 55 (2020). Unless otherwise expressly provided herein, this Executive
Order shall remain in full force and effect until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Seal of the Office of the State Health Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 8th day of May, 2020.