Virginia's plan of action for reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns has finally been announced. Governor Ralph Northam revealed that residents could start seeing openings as early as next Saturday. Virginia reopening non-essential businesses will be the first step in a multi-phase approach in returning the state back to a sense of normalcy.
“We are not entering Phase 1 today, nor this week, but based on the data, I expect we may be able to enter it as soon as next week,” Governor Northam stated in a press briefing yesterday on Monday, May 4.
Governor Northam's announcement extends the current restrictions on non-essential businesses out one week from its original ending date on Thursday, May 8, expecting to start some of the reopening by Saturday, May 15.
The first wave of reopening is set to include restaurants, as well as hair salons and barbershops.
It's been over six weeks since people have been able to go out to get their hair done, and while you'll finally be able to get those bangs trimmed, social distancing guidelines will still apply.
Restaurants will also have restrictions in place, including using only part of their total seating capacity to maintain social distance between dining guests.
The full video of today's briefing with closed captioning and sign language interpreting is available here: https://t.co/chhbk949Jq— Governor Ralph Northam (@Governor Ralph Northam)1588639148.0
This announcement makes Northam the first official in the region to put some type of date on a phase for reopening according to DCist. While no one can predict exactly how long the phases will last, Northam expects phase one to last about three weeks.
The Virginia governor said in a tweet that he is hopeful that a positive trend will continue so that the state can safely and gradually ease public health restrictions.
I am hopeful that these positive trends will continue, and that we can safely and gradually ease public health rest… https://t.co/p37iMMt0wc— Governor Ralph Northam (@Governor Ralph Northam)1588635858.0
According to the Virginia Department of Health, as of May 5, the state has seen a total of 19,357 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, 2,733 hospitalizations, and 713 deaths.
Everyone in Virginia has sacrificed. And let me be clear—what you have done is making a difference. We are flatte… https://t.co/BapX07sdNE— Governor Ralph Northam (@Governor Ralph Northam)1588635857.0
Northam has recognized the sacrifice his residents have had to make surrounding the pandemic and assured in a tweet that the continued efforts have made an impact.
"Everyone in Virginia has sacrificed. And let me be clear — what you have done is making a difference," he tweeted.
While you won't be able to enjoy your favorite diner or salon just yet, you could be booking an appointment sooner than you think.