Gov. Northam grants 2-week delay of Phase One for Accomack County

Posted at 11:19 AM, May 14, 2020

Governor Ralph Northam approved a two-week delay for Phase One of reopening for Accomack County.

Accomack County's Board of Supervisors requested a delay on entering Phase One until 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2020 due to the high number of positive coronavirus cases in the county.

Northam's office said in a statement that both the City of Richmond and Accomack County requested these extensions, and will enter Phase One no earlier than midnight on Thursday, May 28.

According to a letter written by County Administrator Michael T. Mason and sent to Northam, after recent testing in congregate and community settings, county health officials have warned that total positive cases in the county could increase by over fifty percent in a matter of days.

Currently, Accomack is reporting 593 positive cases and eight deaths.

"Despite having a population that is only .39% of the state population, our number of positive cases represents 2.14% of the statewide totals," the letter read. "In fact, they currently align better with localities in Northern Virginia, an area you have allowed to remain in Phase Zero until May 29, 2020. We also wish to help our businesses recover and prosper, but not at the expense of public health."

The letter continued that a two-week delay on implementation of Phase One will allow sufficient time for data to be accumulated for this area and analyzed to determine if it is ready to begin reopening.

“As I have said previously, Virginia’s Phase One guidelines represent a floor, not a ceiling,” Northam said. “I have encouraged local leaders to request exemptions when appropriate, and I am pleased to grant the delays for both Accomack County and the City of Richmond.”

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