Executive Order Fifty-Five, also issued on Monday, from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, requires that Virginians remain at their homes and to practice social distancing if they do go outside. The Virginia order went into effect on March 30, and has an end date of June 10, although that may be shortened or extended if necessary.
The executive order lists nine permissible reasons for people to leave their homes, including "Traveling to and from one's residence, place of worship, or work."
However, places of worship are still not permitted to hold services with more than 10 people in attendance.
"All public and private in-person gatherings of more than ten individuals are prohibited. This includes parties, celebrations, religious, or other social events, whether they occur indoor or outdoor," said Northam in the order.
Previously, an executive order from Northam did not include churches in a list of essential locations, and any "non-essential" business--including churches--found to have more than 10 people inside would be subject to criminal penalties.
"Virginians are strongly encouraged to seek alternative means of attending religious services, such as virtually or via "drive-through" worship," states a webpage of frequently asked questions about Executive Order 53 on the state government website.
"Places of worship that do conduct in-person services must limit gatherings to 10 people, to comply with the statewide 10-person ban."
Both of Virginia's Catholic dioceses have already suspended the public celebration of Mass in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and parishes are instructed to allow no more than 10 worshippers in churches at any time.
Parish buildings largely remain open for private prayer, and some parishes have continued to offer confessions while observing social distancing.