RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Wednesday morning that the city will move into “Phase One” of Governor Northam’s reopening plan on Friday, May 29.
On Tuesday, Mayor Stoney wrote Governor Ralph Northam a letter asking for a modified “Phase One” reopening plan for the city. Hours later, Gov. Northam responded to Stoney saying that he doesn’t believe the city should operate under different “phase one” guidelines as the rest of the state.
During the press briefing, Stoney said that he made that request based on Richmond’s COVID-19 data and talks with local business owners and faith leaders.
“Unfortunately based on his letter yesterday afternoon, the governor did not authorize the modified plan that was requested,” Stoney said.
Northam’s decision led Mayor Stoney to decide that the city will move into “Phase One.” Stoney said he has ‘utmost faith’ in business owners and Richmonders to adhere to the policies and guidelines outlined in Northam’s ‘Forward Virginia’ plan.
I believe that Richmond can cautiously and I repeat cautiously move into Phase One.”Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney
The mayor said he stands behind his choices — writing a letter to Northam requesting modifications and delaying the city’s reopening in the first place.
“When public health is on the line, blindly pushing forward is not an option,” Stoney said.
Stoney continues to remind Richmonders to wear their masks and not visit barbershops or restaurants if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
“This pandemic is not over,” Stoney added.