Northern VA and Richmond still waiting
Governor Announces Phase 2 Begins This Friday for Most of Virginia
At Tuesday’s press conference, Governor Ralph Northam announced most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday, June 5, since key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs such as downward trends in the percentage of positive tests and number of hospitalizations. The Governor also stated Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond will remain in Phase One.
Here are some of the new details regarding Phase 2. You will need to review Phase 2 detailed guidelines and you can read Executive Order 65 for more detail. For reference, you’ll find Phase 1 guidelines here.
- Gatherings increase from 10 to of 50 people
- Restaurants and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50% occupancy
- Gyms may have indoor activities including classes at 30%
- Museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and other outdoor concert and sporting venues may open with restrictions and no shared equipment.
- Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise and swim instruction with restrictions.
Under Phase 2, Virginia will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations in the workplace for:
- social distancing
- teleworking when possible
- requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
- frequently cleaning and sanitizing high contact surfaces
- and other enhanced workplace safety measures.
- Current guidelines for non-essential retail, personal grooming services will largely remain the same
- Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase Two.
As more people go back to work, more childcare is needed. Department of Social Services is providing more information to childcare providers on how to protect children and staff.
In a recent news release reacting to the Governor’s announcement, Virginia State Director Nicole Riley issued the following comments:
“Most of these entrepreneurs who opened a restaurant business or started a fitness center risked everything they had to build it and suddenly faced losing that. This is certainly a big relief for them. But the restrictions still mean revenue will be very limited. We hope people patronize these neighborhood businesses because they are doing all they can to ensure health and safety.
“It must be a great concern for the restaurants and gyms in Northern Virginia and Richmond that remain closed as their competitors in surrounding areas reopen. Many of them didn’t have enough to pay rent or utilities these last 12 weeks, and curbside carryout and online classes didn’t cover the bills. Hopefully, they will be allowed to reopen as soon as possible.