Virginia governor Northam clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close

Virginia governor Northam clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been reluctant to take aggressive action to try to thwart the spread of coronavirus, but on March 30, he enacted a stay-at-home order that is in effect until June 1.

(Of course, Northam could supersede that order with another at a later date, but the point is that this is not going to be a short-term situation.)

Virginia citizens are asked to remain at home unless they have to leave to get food, seek medical treatment, get outdoor exercise or go to work at an essential business.

At a news conference announcing the stay-at-home order, Governor Northam was asked if golf courses could remain open throughout the duration of the order. Governor Northam confirmed that golf courses are allowed to remain open to players throughout the stay-at-home order. Golf courses can also be maintained during this time.

Like many governors' orders, the Virginia stay-at-home order allows residents to leave their homes for outdoor exercise provided proper precautions are taken and social distancing is observed. That's become a new normal at golf courses around the United States that are able to remain open, with modified cups to prevent touching common surfaces, as well removing shared surfaces like bunker rakes, ball washers and water coolers.

Virginia's order is different from neighboring Maryland, in which Governor Larry Hogan closed golf courses to players but not for limited maintenance.

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