RICHMOND, Va. - Gov. Northam says the state is still on track to start its gradual reopening this week amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the exception of the population-dense Washington suburbs.
Northam said at a news conference on Monday that the state continues to see positive trends in key metrics related to the virus’ spread, hospital readiness and testing capacity.
He said the state is almost ready to begin a gradual reopening of nonessential businesses, houses of worship and other places currently closed.
But he added while the same trends are moving in the right direction in northern Virginia, there are still concerns about their elevated number of cases.
Gov. Northam announced last Friday that he anticipates and hopes to start Phase One of reopening Virginia on May 15.
Phase One does ease restrictions on some businesses, but Northam said he wants to reassure Virginians that we are not opening the flood gates right away as the virus is still in our communities.
In Phase One, beaches are still only open for exercise and fishing. Northam explained that restrictions will ease on beaches but first there needs to be a plan for cleaning, keeping social distancing and enforcement of these steps.
Here is a list of what Phase One looks like:
- Non- essential retail open with 50% capacity
- Restaurants and beverage services - takeout and delivery; outdoor seating at 50% capacity
- Entertainment and public amusement - closed
- Fitness and exercise - closed (limited to outdoor classes)
- Beaches - exercise and fishing only
- Gatherings - 10 person limit
- Teleworking - strongly encouraged
- Face coverings - strongly encouraged
- Childcare - open for working families
- Places of worship - drive in services; 50% capacity
- Personal grooming - appointment only
- Private campgrounds - open
- Overnight summer camps - closed
- State parks - Day use; overnight in phases
- Schools - closed