According to an article on, Virginia is preparing to start the reopening process as early as Friday and those who refuse to return to work could be at risk of losing their unemployment benefits, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

William Walton, the VEC’s director of unemployment insurance, said the commission is starting to hear more cases like this as the country begins easing coronavirus restrictions.

“Simply being afraid of getting sick is not going to be sufficient to decline that job and maintain eligibility for benefits,” Walton said.

Walton said the employment commission will take additional circumstances into consideration during the adjudication process, such as underlying conditions, a sick relative or childcare restrictions. He said the VEC will decide if the offer of employment is “suitable” based on these reasons.