During a press conference yesterday, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will enter Phase Three of the state’s re-opening next Wednesday, July 1. As many states are experiencing a surge in new infections, Virginia’s case counts continue to trend downward. Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of individuals hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continues to decline as testing increases.
In Phase Three, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy, with continued recommendations for social distancing and teleworking and the requirement that individuals wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals allowed in social gatherings will increase from 50 to 250 people. All businesses should continue to follow physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and keep enhanced workplace safety measures in place.
Restaurant and beverage establishments are required to maintain six feet of distance between tables, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 75% occupancy, and recreation and entertainment venues may operate at 50% occupancy, or a maximum of 1,000 persons. Swimming pools may also expand operations to free swim in addition to indoor and outdoor exercise, diving and swim instruction.
The Governor said Virginians need to remain cautious and vigilant to protect themselves and those they love from the coronavirus. Wear a mask or face covering, maintain physical distancing and stay home if you are high-risk or experience COVID-19 symptoms.