RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Northam announced the phases that will be put in place to reopen Virginia on Monday afternoon.
Northam announced that Executive Order 53 is extended through Thursday, May 14. This is the order that restricts certain businesses and bans gatherings of more than 10 people.
Gov. Northam said "This virus is still here, it has not gone away and it will not go away until we have a vaccination." He added, "All our efforts have slowed its spread but have not cured the disease."
He said Virginia is not entering phase one this week but, based on data, possibly could enter it as soon as May 15.
Although phases will eventually be rolled out, Northam added that it will still be safer at home and we should continue to practice social distancing and wearing face coverings.
Phase one could last for two to four weeks, according to Northam. It keeps social gatherings to less than 10 people, calls for continued social distancing, teleworking, recommends face coverings, and eases limits on faith communities and businesses.
Phase one also calls for businesses to keep physical distancing up, enhance cleaning and disinfection and workplace safety. Different industries will have different guidelines. For example, people can get haircuts, but will have to schedule appointments. Restaurants will be able to resume dine-in service, but with limited seating.
Northam and his staff are using healthcare data as the basis for their decisions. "Everything you have done has truly made a difference we flattened the curve and our hospitals have not been overwhelmed," he said.