Not all Americans are complying with the many shelter-in-place or quarantine protocols set in place. Across the country, protests have emerged from residents demanding states be reopened. On Thursday, some Virginians were protesting Gov. Ralph Northam's stay-at-home orders along with similar demonstrations in other states.
In an official Reopen Virginia press release, the group (with a Facebook page of 21,503 members) states, "Business owners are being forced to layoff employees while the unemployment system is failing those laid off as the economy free falls. This is a recipe for disaster with many in our society helpless."
The Virginia Executive Stay-In-Place Order came into effect on Monday, March 30 in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Under these orders, residents are required to remain where they live and to only go out to obtain food, seek medical attention, care for family members and loved ones, have court-mandated travel and other lifestyle-specific exceptions.
Residents also have to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet apart while in public. They also must avoid hosting public or private gatherings of any kind with individuals that aren't part of their household.
The order is currently scheduled to remain effective until June 10, 2020, unless amended by another one beforehand.
Now that two weeks have passed, Virginians are calling for its end. End The Lockdown VA, Virginians Against Excessive Quarantine and ReOpen Virginia organized the "Reopen Virginia" demonstration that occurred Thursday morning outside of the Virginia State Capitol.
The release continues to note, "Those with compromised immune systems should not have to re-enter the economy or workforce if they do not feel comfortable.”
Demonstrators measure out a 'social distance' of six feet as they gather in opposition to Virginia's stay-at-home o… https://t.co/GPOfabkmpi— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins)1587056710.0
As of today, The Virginia Department of Health reports 7,491 confirmed cases with 1,221 hospitalizations and 231 deaths.
Crowd protests stay-at-home order in Richmond; Virginia coronavirus death toll surpasses 200… https://t.co/Oto4pqkVgc— Hunter Mill Democrats (@Hunter Mill Democrats)1587065376.0
The Thursday protest follows others that occurred this week in North Carolina on Tuesday and Michigan and Kentucky on Wednesday. All protests (excluding Kentucky) resulted in warnings of arrest with few taken into custody in North Carolina.