K-12 schools closed for the year; 7 deaths confirmed in Virginia

Northern Virginia’s daily update on COVID-19 and how it’s impacting the region.

coronavirus covid-19 virus
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus (Photo by Viktor Forgacs)

There are now over 387,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, around the world and 102,972 people have recovered. Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University has been keeping up-to-date information through an interactive map, if you would like to check in every few hours. 

Virginia now has 254 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 38 people hospitalized, seven deaths and 3,697 people tested. Virginia Beach reported its first coronavirus death on March 25 (ALX Now). You can keep up with the commonwealth’s daily updates here. (Virginia Department of Health)

On March 24, Gov. Ralph Northam announced all K-12 schools would be closed through the remainder of the school year. Day cares and child care service centers can remain open, but only if following the limitation of 10 patrons at a time. Virginia is the second state to shutter schools for the school year, joining Kansas. (The Washington Post)

The governor also announced that all restaurants must stop serving dine-in meals and should, if possible, transition entirely to take-out or delivery orders. If not, they must remain closed until Thursday, April 23. (The Commonwealth of Virginia

All additional recreational and entertainment businesses including theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums and other indoor entertainment centers; fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities and indoor exercise facilities; beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed; racetracks and historic horse racing facilities and bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement will be closed until Thursday, April 23. (The Commonwealth of Virginia

So, what will remain open? All essential businesses are listed below. 

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations
  • Medical, laboratory and vision supply retailers
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets and other communications technology
  • Automotive parts, accessories and tire retailers, as well as automotive repair facilities
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material and building supply retailers
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers
  • Beer, wine and liquor stores
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores
  • Retail located within health care facilities
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions
  • Pet and feed stores
  • Printing and office supply stores
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners (The Commonwealth of Virginia)

As of Tuesday morning, Alexandria now has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19, with three additional cases added since March 20. Alexandria Health Department Director Dr. Stephen Haering also said there have not been any positive cases of Alexandria City Public Schools staff or students, although some have been tested. (ALX Now

All Arlington dog parks, fields and playgrounds have now been closed, with only trails and community gardens to remain open. Congregating in groups in both areas is now banned. (ARL Now

Based on the recent local, state and CDC guidelines, Signature Theatre has canceled all public events through the beginning of June. Performances, such as the debut of Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes, will be recorded and made viewable to those who had tickets. For more updates on performances, check here. (ARL Now

On March 23, the Rosslyn BID announced new ways to help support local restaurants, which are all being impacted by the spread of the coronavirus. A directory of all restaurants in Rosslyn that are offering delivery and/or takeout at this time can be found on the website. The organization also launched #RosslynRewards, a program where locals can share their photos of their takeout or delivery order using the hashtag, and they will receive a $10 gift card to that restaurant, or put that reward toward a fund to be distributed directly to the restaurant. (ARL Now

Stafford County is seeking the public’s help in acquiring much-needed masks for the county’s health personnel. “Officials are seeking businesses that have masks they are not using, as well as sewers willing to offer masks. Additionally, Stafford is collaborating with Team Rubicon, a veterans group that assists with disaster relief to community source critical items, including masks.” Across the county, states are facing shortages of high-demand items, such as masks. (Inside NoVA)

It’s peak bloom for cherry blossoms in the District, and even warnings from the Mayor and the CDC could not prevent people from showing up to the Tidal Basin over the weekend. “Throngs of sightseers, runners, photographers, people with dogs, people pushing baby carriages, even a police officer with his camera showed up, coronavirus warnings or not.” As a result, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has closed roads near the Tidal Basin, and blocked pedestrian traffic through the National Mall and around the peak bloom area. (The Washington Post)

More events and large gatherings are being canceled across the region. For specific announcements, please check our events cancellation page.

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