Northam extends business closures another week

RICHMOND, Va, (AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam is extending an executive order mandating that some nonessential businesses close for another week, until May 15.

Northam announced at a news conference Monday that the state is seeing positive trends in data related to spread and treatment of the coronavirus pandemic , but he said more time is needed before restrictions can be eased.

His executive order, which forces closing some businesses and severely restricting how others operate, was set to expire May 8. His order also bans gatherings of 10 or more in public or private.

The governor, a Democrat, has come under increasing pressure from Republican lawmakers and others to reopen the state like some other Southern states have done.

Northam recently lifted a ban on elective surgeries and has said that his executive orders have been less restrictive than what some other states have issued.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and be life-threatening.

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