When should Virginia reopen its economy?

Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 15, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the nation, some are now calling on Virginia to think about reopening the economy.

Prominent Republican State Sen. Mark Obenshain called for the Commonwealth to begin moving towards reopening in a tweet on Wednesday.

Gov. Ralph Northam has instituted a "stay at home" order through June 10 and closed schools through the remainder of the school year.

He has said he continues to make all decisions based on science. "When people say it's time to stop what we're doing and get back to normal, they're wrong," Northam said Wednesday.

Northam extended his executive order closing non-essential businesses through May 8. "If we let off the brakes and try to go back to the way things were, we'll see another spike in cases that will overwhelm our hospitals," he said.

Meanwhile, President Trump has stayed hopeful some states can reopen within the next few weeks. "The plans to reopen the country are close and being finalized and we will share new guidelines with everyone," he said Tuesday.

"I will be authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening and a very powerful reopening plan of their state at a time and of a manner as most appropriate," Trump said. "The date will be very close."

News 3 political analyst Dr. Eric Claville from Norfolk State University's Center for African American Public Policy says governors are feeling a lot of pressure about what to do. "Do you know put the health of the citizens against the economic health of the area? That's the question that every single state has to answer," said Claville.

Other states, like California, have released qualifications of what it would take to reopen. Gov. Gavin Newsom listed six factors, including expanded testing, as criteria for how he will make a decision.

For now, Virginia is siding with public health officials and remaining under the governor's orders.

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