Charlottesville leaders call on Gov. Northam to issue stay-at-home order

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) — Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker is asking Governor Ralph Northam to issue a stay-at-home order for all of Virginia.

“Virginia must take action now to halt the spread of COVID-19 before it results in further illness and death within the commonwealth,” said Walker.

The mayor says Charlottesville City Council does not believe the current social distancing measures or Gov. Northam's orders limiting patrons in businesses are enough to contain the spread of the virus.

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney and Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter are also calling on the governor to revise hisExecutive Order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Virginia.

“This is a public health emergency, and we urge you to act immediately to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our fellow Virginians,” said Brackney and Baxter.

The joint letter from Brackney and Baxter can be found here.

Earlier this week, on Monday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a stay-at-home order for Virginia's neighboring state.

Essentially, a stay-at-home order is much stricter — it restricts leaving the house to essential needs, rather than social distancing, which allows for much more.

According to the West Virginia governor's office, their definition of "Stay at Home" means:

• Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
• Only go out for essential services
• Stay six feet or more away from others
• Don’t gather in groups

Right now, in Virginia, many non-essential businesses can remain open so long as they follow the state's social distancing and 10-person limit orders. People are also allowed to travel as they please, while complying with the 10-person limit.

A breakdown of the current restrictions in Virginia can be found here.