RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam has declared Sunday 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 on March 7, 2020 and the first death was recorded on March 14, 2020.

As of Friday, March 12, 2021, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) says 9,961 people in Virginia have died from the virus.

Flags throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia to be lowered on all state and local buildings and grounds from sunrise on Sunday, March 14 and remain at half-staff until sunset. 

“As we mourn, the First Lady and I are calling all Virginians to join us in prayer and remembrance of those who have been lost on Sunday. 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.” 

Gov. Ralph Northam

The Executive Mansion in Richmond will be illuminated with an amber light from Sunday, March 14 until Sunday, March 21 to pay tribute to the thousands of Virginians lost to COVID-19. Gov. and First Lady Northam are inviting people across the Commonwealth to honor lives lost by lighting their homes and businesses amber. 

In an effort to remember 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.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and to pre-register the vaccine, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).