Governor Ralph Northam conducted an update Friday afternoon.  Northam reported an increase in both coronavirus cases and deaths since his Wednesday news conference. Virginia has reported 864 more COVID-19 cases and 46 additional deaths since Wednesday.

Northam says easing COVID-19 restrictions is “absolutely the wrong thing to do,” despite people reaching out to him saying how restrictions seem to be working. Northam, a doctor, says the restrictions are like taking medicine. “We’re in that period where we see hope, we see promise… but this is no time to let our guard down.”

Northam says he’s introducing legislation to allow the Virginia Department of Corrections to release non-violent inmates who have 1 year or less in their sentence. The General Assembly must vote on the proposal when they reconvene on April 22, and the department of corrections will work on pre-release in the meantime. Northam says release usually requires a stable place for the inmate to go and 3 months of their required medication. Brian Moran says about 2,000 inmates would be eligible and would last through the governor’s executive order through June 10.

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