Governor Promises Phase One Guidelines

May 06, 2020 - 4:31 pm
Governor Ralph Northam displays mask use during a briefing on coronavirus on April 6, 2020. (Governor's Facebook Page)

(Governor's Facebook Page)

Richmond, VA _  As protestors gathered at and drove around the state capitol, Governor Ralph Northam, in his Wednesday afternoon briefing, promised to provide detailed guidelines and restrictions for phase one of a plan to reopen Virginia.

On Monday, Northam extended his order banning gatherings of more than 10 people and closing businesses deemed non-essential until May 14th.  He says if the health data continues to trend in a positive direction, he hopes to begin implementing those phase one plans, which he calls "the floor",  on May 15th.  Under phase one businesses like gyms, restaurants and salons could reopen, but with certain safety restrictions.  Northam added, however, that localities could retain or increase restrictions is needed.

Northam says the criteria for beginning to lift safety restrictions, including a two-week decline in cases, adequate hospital capacity, and adequate PPE, are being met so far.

Another technical error, meanwhile, prevented the Virginia Department of Health from releasing its daily tally of covid-19 cases, the number of deaths, the number of patients who had been discharged, and the number of those who had been tested.

Ahead of the phase one reopening, Northam said Virginia, which came in 48th in testing for covid-19,  would be ramping up testing and contact tracing.