Virginia likely to reopen for business May 15
Virginia businesses that have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 virus will likely be allowed to reopen May 15 with restrictions, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.
Northam outlined a three-phase plan to ease restrictions on businesses and gatherings, when health data supports doing so. He will extend key provisions of Executive Order 53, which places restrictions on businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people, at least through May 14 at midnight. The administration will continue to monitor health data to ensure that trends of positive cases are going downward, that hospital capacity remains steady, that testing is increased, and that hospitals and medical facilities have necessary supplies of personal protective equipment.
Phase I of easing restrictions, which is expected to start May 15, would continue social distancing, teleworking, recommendations that people wear face coverings in public, and the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people. It would ease some limits on business and faith communities, and would transition the stay at home directive to a “safer at home” guideline, especially for those in vulnerable populations.
It is expected that Phase I would last two to four weeks, as would the two subsequent phases, depending on health metrics.
More specific guidance on each phase will be available in the coming days. Slides from the Governor’s briefing are available here.