National movement against extending coronavirus lockdown expands

Business closures are set to last through May 8

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Residents protesting state economic lockdown measures motivated by the deadly coronavirus gathered in Virginia and New York on Thursday.

Around 20 people who want Virginia's economy to reopen by May 1 gathered in Richmond to protest Gov. Ralph Northam's stay-at-home order and restrictions on businesses that were put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. A group of approximately 30 people reportedly gathered to protest in New York's capital city of Albany on Thursday as well.

Northam, a Democrat, issued a statewide stay-at-home order in late March that is set to last through June 10. Business closures are set to last through May 8.

Groups calling themselves Reopen Virginia, End the Lockdown VA and Virginians Against Excessive Quarantine take credit for organizing the protest.


"Government mandating sick people to stay home is called quarantine. However, the government mandating healthy citizens to stay home, forcing businesses and churches to close is called tyranny," Reopen Virginia said in a statement.

The group wants Virginia businesses to be allowed to reopen on May 1 with "enhanced sanitation habits" and says immunocompromised people should not have to rejoin the workforce.

The Virginia protest is far from the first of its kind in the nation. Protesters have also gathered in Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan to voice concern over the forced closure of businesses. Protests are planned for next week in Missouri and Pennsylvania.

FOX Business' inquiry to Northam's office was not immediately returned.