Governor Ralph Northam issued a proclamation declaring Sunday, March 14, 2021 a day of prayer and remembrance to honor the Virginians who have lost their lives to COVID-19. The first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 7, 2020 and the first death was recorded on March 14, 2020. Tragically, 9,961 people in Virginia have died from the virus as of March 12, 2021.
Additionally, Governor Northam ordered the flags of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be lowered on all state and local buildings and grounds from sunrise on Sunday, March 14; they remained at half-staff until sunset.
“Sunday marks one year since we first learned that a Virginian had died from COVID-19 in our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Since then, more than 9,900 of our fellow Virginians have lost their lives to this disease, leaving behind families, friends, colleagues and neighbors of all races, religions and backgrounds. And while we cannot bring them back, we can honor their memories—and prevent more grief and loss—by working together to keep each other safe.”
Governor Northam continued, “One year into this pandemic, we are seeing an ever-brighter light at the end of a long tunnel, and we can be hopeful that better days are ahead. While so much has changed over the past year, Virginians have continued to show strength and resilience, stepping up during this time of great need. We owe it to the victims of this virus and their loved ones to continue doing our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 until this pandemic is behind us.”
The Executive Mansion in Richmond was illuminated with an amber light on Sunday, March 14, and will continue to shine until Sunday, March 21 to pay tribute to the thousands of Virginians lost to COVID-19. Governor and First Lady Northam are inviting people across the Commonwealth to join in commemorating the lives lost by lighting their homes and businesses amber.
In an effort to memorialize the individuals who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Virginia, the Northam Administration is creating a portal where Virginians can share the names and stories of their loved ones. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
Delegate Delores McQuinn also introduced a resolution during the 2021 General Assembly session designating March 14, in 2021 and in each succeeding year, as Victims of COVID-19 Remembrance Day in Virginia.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and to pre-register for your shot, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).