Northam: Most of Virginia to move into Phase Two starting on Friday

Northam: Most of Virginia to move into Phase Two starting on Friday

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For most of Virginia, the state will be moving into Phase Two of reopening on Friday, June 5.

Northam says he feels confident in allowing Virginia to move into Phase Two after the percent of positive tests continue to trend downward. For the entire state of Virginia, excluding Northern Virginia, the rate of positivity is trending downward towards 10 percent while the number of tests has increased.

All of Virginia will start Phase Two on June 5 except for Richmond and Northern Virginia since they only moved into Phase One on May 29 and more time is needed to monitor cases. Accomack County will also move into Phase Two with the rest of the state because health officials believe they have a handle on the COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry plant thanks to rigorous testing.

Phase Two guidelines are as follows:

  • Under Phase Two, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people. All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures.
  • Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.
  • The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase Two. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase Two.

Phase Two guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Phase One guidelines sectors are available here. Find even more information on the Forward Virginia plan here.

Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of people hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continue to trend downward as testing increases.

Northam still stressed that Virginians will be safer at home and that remote work should still be done when possible.

“Because of our collective efforts, Virginia has made tremendous progress in fighting this virus and saved lives,” Governor Northam said. “Please continue to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and stay home if you are high-risk or experience COVID-19 symptoms. Virginians have all sacrificed to help contain the spread of this disease, and we must remain vigilant as we take steps to slowly lift restrictions in our Commonwealth.”

More details on Phase Two outlines will be discussed on Thursday during Northam’s briefing.

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