- The Washington Times
Monday, March 23, 2020

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday that schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year, and so will certain types of businesses such as theaters, gyms and bowling alleys in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are in this for months, not weeks,” said the Democratic governor.

Mr. Northam also signed an executive order closing bars and restaurants, with the exception of carryout and delivery services.

The executive order, which he said will be implemented for at least 30 days, also mandates the closure of all recreation and entertainment businesses, such as bowling alleys, theaters, gyms and racetracks.

Personal care businesses that can’t adhere to social distancing, such as hair salons and spas, must close, Mr. Northam said.

Retail establishments can remain open if they only permit 10 people to be in the space at one time, and are following social distancing and increased sanitizing procedures.

As of Monday afternoon, the region has recorded eight deaths and more than 600 positive cases of COVID-19, with 116 in the District, 219 in Virginia and 288 in Maryland.

Businesses, schools, public buildings and parks are closed across the region in an effort to promote social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended the public health emergency to at least April 25, meaning the ban on mass gatherings of 50 people or more will last until then, and schools, restaurants and bars, public playgrounds, libraries will remain closed until then.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has placed an indefinite ban on mass gatherings of 10 people or more, he ordered all non-essential businesses to close, and he postponed the April 28 primary. Schools are to be closed at least until March 27.

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