Richmond continues to urge residents to stay home, offers help to closed businesses

Richmond continues to urge residents to stay home, offers help to closed businesses
#StayHomeRVA will serve as a local rallying cry for committing to sheltering in place and social distancing and will extend throughout the length of the State of Emergency in Virginia. (Source: Richmond and Henrico Health Districts)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With the COVID-19 continuing to spread across Virginia, Richmond city and health officials continue to urge residents to stay home to help slow the spread.

Richmond City and the Henrico Health Districts have launched a regional stay-at-home campaign called #StayHomeRVA.

#StayHomeRVA encourages residents to stay at home and use social distancing guidelines released by the Centers for Disease and Control and mandated by Governor Ralph Northam due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This has been a very trying time for so many of us. The anxiety and fear that comes with a pandemic that we don’t understand and we’re having a difficult time controlling, is really challenging,” says Dr. Danny Avula, Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “This is also a time where humans do amazing things. A crisis like this brings out the best in us. The decisions we make to stay away from people during this time, and ultimately to stay in our homes and stop spreading this disease, are exactly the things we need to do for our neighbors and our communities.”

Previously, Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order closing all nonessential businesses, along with telling residents to stay home. The stay-at-home order - which is in effect until June 10 - says citizens can still go out for fresh air or exercise but have to follow social distancing rules, and the governor wants everyone to plan those trips wisely.

“I want to be clear. Do not go out unless you need to go out. This is very different from wanting to go out. Don’t go to the store just for one thing. Wait until you have a whole list of needs,” Northam said.

To help provide relief for businesses that have been forced to close due to the pandemic, the city has created the new Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program.

Loan payments will be disbursed over six months. Repayment of the loans will be deferred for six months, followed by 48 months of no-interest payments.

Applications for the no-interest loans are now open. Funding is limited and applications will be considered in the order they are submitted. You can learn more about the loans, HERE.

The City of Richmond has also launched a centralized COVID-19 resource and donation website called “RVA Strong.”

Visitors on the website will be able to explore a variety of different causes and even donate to some of them such as housing stability, food security or families and neighborhoods.

The “RVA Strong” website will even have information on ways to get food, SNAP benefits, housing support and even help at home.

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