Some Virginia restaurants and bars stay open without closure order from state

Some restaurants and bars are staying open, including dining rooms, without a state-wide directive from the Virginia governor to close Monday amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued orders Monday ordering bars and restaurants in their states to close. It's not clear why Virginia has not done the same.

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Multiple calls and emails to Gov. Ralph Northam's office and the Virginia Health Department were not returned.

Many restaurants and bars in Northern Virginia decided to take their own precautions as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

Some switched to carry-out and delivery only, while others closed entirely.

Yet some restaurants were still open and serving people inside at limited capacity.

Arlington County urged restaurants and bars to close but said in a statement it could not force them to do so as a local jurisdiction.

FOX 5 spoke to diners who said they felt safe going out Monday.

"One of the main things is that you know the crowds are lower. Obviously that kind of restricts or inhibits the risk of passing the [COVID-19] virus," said Ivory Powell.

"I’ve been getting a lot of emails from places saying they’re sanitizing things and keeping things clean so I think that’s good news," said Matt Atkins.