The U.S. state of Virginia declared a state of emergency late Thursday after its cases of coronavirus almost doubled overnight to 17.

Ralph Northam, governor of the mid-Atlantic state, announced the measure alongside State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver, State Epidemiologist Lilian Peake, and Attorney General Mark Herring.

Most of the state’s cases are in Northern Virginia, the state’s wealthiest region and a de facto suburb of neighboring Washington, D.C.

“From our Health Department, to our schools, to our hospitals, to our transit systems, Virginia’s agencies and institutions have been thoroughly planning for every scenario,” said the governor.

“This emergency

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