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Virginia renters facing eviction are getting some relief after the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an emergency order Tuesday to temporarily halt eviction proceedings across the state.

The state’s Supreme Court has suspended all non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings for the next three weeks, including new eviction cases, according to the state’s Attorney General Mark Herring. 

“It would be an absolute outrage for Virginians to be evicted from their homes during this emergency, especially as we are asking them to practice social distancing and stay home to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” Herring said in a press release. 

Prince William County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Terry Fearnley said all evictions in Prince William County have been put on hold as a result of the order. 

As of Wednesday, March 18, there are 77 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Virginia and two deaths. State officials issued an order Tuesday banning gatherings of 10 or more people in restaurants, theaters and fitness centers. 

Many businesses across the state have closed their doors or are operating with reduced hours to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

“This temporary eviction suspension is particularly important for hourly wage earners who are more likely to lose income and not be able to pay their rent because of business closures,” Herring said. 

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