— By Carol Vaughn
The Northampton County Board of Supervisors urged residents to follow Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order 53, which closed all restaurants, farmers markets, breweries, distilleries, wineries, and other dining establishments, except for takeout and delivery, and imposed other restrictions.
The Northampton board issued a press release Monday, reiterating the governor’s order and urging visitors and those whose primary residence is not on the Eastern Shore to stay away for now.
“Everyone, please stay home. We encourage all visitors to reschedule visits to the Eastern Shore. Everyone must do their part to flatten the curve,” the release said, asking readers to “be considerate of small towns and counties on Virginia’s Eastern Shore that do not have the medical staff or capacity for visitors during this pandemic.”
As of Monday, Northampton County had one confirmed CORVID-19 case, and Accomack County had six, up two over the weekend.
Violations of the executive order are a criminal offense and subject to prosecution, the Northampton release reminded readers.
Thirteen types of businesses considered essential, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, among others, are allowed to remain open under the order.
Essential retail businesses, according to the order, are:
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 healthcare facilities;
Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
Pet and feed stores;
Printing and office supply stores;
Laundromats and dry cleaners.
The complete executive order can be viewed at: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-53-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-To-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf
Any business that is not included in the 13 essential categories must adhere to the 10 patron limit and social distancing guidelines, or must close if it cannot adhere to them.
Additionally, all public and private gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.
“Northampton County will be closely following the state guidelines and we encourage you to do the same,” the release said.
“We know that everyone loves Northampton County, Cape Charles, Exmore, Nassawadox, Eastville, and Cheriton and the Eastern Shore this time of year; however, we would like to urge our friends from out of the area to please remain home to help keep our small community safe and do their part in preventing the spread of the virus. Isolation is key. Thank you and stay healthy,” the board’s release concluded.