RICHMOND, Va. -- Most of Virginia is beginning the first phase of a gradual reopening plan put in place by Gov. Ralph Northam.
The governor is allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen Friday in most of the state.
Northern Virginia, Richmond and Accomack County were all granted two-week delays.
Northam has said he’s basing his decision to reopen on positive trends in key metrics related to the coronavirus's spread, like hospital readiness and testing capacity.
Severe restrictions will still be in place. Some retail businesses will reopen with limited capacity, but indoor gyms would remain closed, beaches would remain closed to sunbathers and restaurants would be prohibited from indoor dine-in service.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.