ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. - Accomack County is poised to join the rest of Virginia and enter Phase One of reopening on Friday.
Previously, county officials had requested a two-week delay, which Governor Ralph Northam granted.
"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 County Administrator wrote in a letter at the time. "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."
Northam tweeted Wednesday that Northern Virginia, Accomack County and Richmond will all enter Phase One on May 29.
"As we move forward thoughtfully and deliberately, we all must stay vigilant—following the guidelines, wearing masks inside, and looking out for each other," he said.
All of Virginia will operate under Phase One starting Friday, including Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Accomack County. As we move forward thoughtfully and deliberately, we all must stay vigilant—following the guidelines, wearing masks inside, and looking out for each other. pic.twitter.com/mdOOlyoXyN— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) May 27, 2020
Accomack County and the Eastern Shore have seen an influx of cases due to outbreaks at two poultry processing plants. About 20 percent of employees and contractors at the Tyson Food's plant tested positive.
Employees who tested positive received paid leave, the company said.
Perdue Farms employees also tested positive, bringing the total of poultry workers who tested positive to 510 on the Eastern Shore.
As of Thursday, 807 people in Acccomack County have tested positive, but still health officials say the numbers are trending down. "A lot of efforts have been placed in Accomack county and yes, working with their community leaders we feel comfortable," said Northam on Thursday.