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NUMBER SEVENTY- FIVE (2020)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO CIVIL UNREST IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND POTENTIAL CIVIL UNREST IN THE COMMONWEALTH

Importance of the Issue

On this day, January 6, 2021, I declare that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia due to potential civil unrest that poses a danger to public safety. Due to significant events in Washington, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth is at a heightened risk of civil unrest that may require intervention to restore order, ensure the safety of the public, protect property, and provide additional resources to support our local, state, and federal partners. Specifically, violent protests in Washington, D.C. have led its Mayor to declare a state of emergency and impose a curfew.  The District also requested assistance from the Commonwealth to address this unrest and restore order to our nation’s Capital.  

There is significant concern that the unrest unfolding in our nation’s Capital may spark violence in the Commonwealth. This is of particular concern with respect to areas of the Commonwealth in close proximity to the District.  To alleviate that potential, the Mayor of the City of Alexandria and the Chair of Arlington County Board requested curfews in the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington.

The Commonwealth has a compelling interest to maintain peace and order in the face of escalating tension.  The effects of this civil unrest constitute an emergency wherein human lives and public and private property are imperiled, as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia (Code).  Action is necessary to preserve life and property and to alleviate the conditions caused by this situation.

Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia, by §§ 44-146.17 and 44-75.1 of the Code, and as Governor and Director of Emergency Management and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth’s armed forces, I proclaim that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Accordingly, I direct state and local governments to render appropriate assistance to prepare for and respond to this situation, to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation, and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible. Emergency services shall be conducted in accordance with § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code.

In order to marshal all public resources and appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures, I order the following actions:

  1. Implementation by state agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, as amended, along with other appropriate state plans.
  2. Activation of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center and the Virginia Emergency Support Team, as directed by the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, to coordinate the provision of assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and to facilitate emergency services assignments to other agencies.
  3. Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation, and enter into contracts without regard to normal procedures or formalities, and without regard to application or permit fees or royalties.  All waivers issued by agencies shall be posted on their websites.
  4. Activation of the Virginia National Guard to State Active Duty to assist in mitigating this emergency as well as providing support to Washington, D.C. pursuant to the National Guard Mutual Assistance Compact, § 44-54.1 et seq. and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, 44-146.28:1 et seq. of the Code, as well as any other applicable law.
  5. Persons traveling to and from home, work, or places of worship;
  6. Authorization of a maximum of $2,750,000.00 in state sum sufficient funds for state and local government mission assignments and state response and recovery operations authorized and coordinated through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management allowable by The Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. Included in this authorization is $750,000.00 for the Department of Military Affairs.

Further, I declare that the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington shall be under a curfew between the hours of 6:00 p.m., January 6, 2021 and 6:00 a.m., January 7, 2021.  Unless extended by further executive order, that curfew shall end at 6:01 a.m. January 7, 2021. While the curfew is in place, no person shall be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park, or other public place in the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington with the following exceptions:

  • Hospital personnel;
  • Members of the press;
  • State and City of Alexandria or County of Arlington employees and volunteers;
  • Military personnel including but not limited to national guard troops;
  • Private emergency medical transport workers;
  • Travel to and from public meetings of the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington;
  • Persons seeking emergency services; and
  • Other emergency workers.

Nothing in this Order shall be construed to prohibit or restrict travel to a hospital in the event of a medical emergency, nor shall such travel be considered in violation of this Order. 

Further, in the event of any conflict between this Order and Executive Order 72, Order of Public Health Emergency Nine, Section I, this Order governs.

Violation of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code.

Effective Date of this Executive Order

This Order shall be effective immediately, and with the exception to the provisions instituting the curfews, shall remain in full force and effect until February 6, 2021, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 6th day of January, 2021.

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