Governor to address Virginia's rising COVID-19 cases

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 12:57:52-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam will hold a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday to address Virginia's recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

The governor held his last regularly-scheduled COVID-19 press conference in late June stating he'd hold another press conference only if the situation warranted.

Tuesday's press conference comes as Virginia sees an increase in daily COVID-19 cases following the July 4 holiday weekend.

A majority of those increase are focused in eastern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Virginia entered Phase 3 of reopening on July 1 relaxing capacity rules for restaurants, gyms, and social gatherings.

"So far, Virginia has avoided the same spike in COVID-19 cases that other states are experiencing, but we are starting to see a concerning increase, particularly in Hampton Roads," Northam said last week. "We all have to stay vigilant—we have come too far to let our guard down now."

The governor said his team would continue monitoring the data and may re-institute restrictions designed to keep the virus from quickly spreading to large groups of people.

"We will continue watching the data over the coming days to make sure public health guidelines are being followed—and I won't hesitate to impose restrictions if needed," he said.

If Virginia is unable to stay in Phase 3, Northam said it was unlikely students would go back to in-class learning this fall.

"It's not only the children in school, it's the teachers, it's the staff that could contract this and the point I would make is if our teachers and our staff can't stay healthy, if they contract the virus, then all is moot," he said. "I want as much as anybody, with all the families with all the children, to get our kids back in school. But if, if our numbers don't stay where they are, if we can't remain in Phase 3, then we're not going to be able to move forward with that."

This is a developing story.