Northam will allow most of Virginia to move into phase 2 on Friday

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Most of Virginia will enter phase 2 of Virginia’s coronavirus reopening plan on Friday, June 5, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

Richmond and Northern Virginia, which just entered phase 1 this past Friday, May 29, will not be included. Though it also just entered phase 1 on May 29, Accomack County on the Eastern Shore will be able to enter phase 2. Northam said he believes the outbreak there, which included more than 500 COVID-19 cases at its chicken plants, is under control after “rigorous testing.”

The rest of the state has been in Phase 1 since Friday, May 15.

Phase 2 includes:

  • Reopening indoor seating at restaurants at 50% capacity
  • Reopening indoor gyms at 30% capacity
  • Reopening of entertainment venues such as zoos, museums and botanical gardens
  • Reopening swimming pools with restrictions
  • Resuming recreational sports with restrictions

Phase 2 also increases limits on social gatherings from 10 to 50 people.

“But we are still safer at home,” Northam said, saying that face masks will still be required in indoor spaces and teleworking is still recommended.

Northam pointed to downward trends in the percentage of positive tests statewide (down to nearly 10%) and increases in testing capacity as reasons for the decision.

The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase 2. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase 2.

More: Virginia June 2 COVID-19 update: Key figures continue trend down, rest of state has passed Northern Virginia in daily cases

Northam said more information on phase 2 will be released later Tuesday on his website.


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