FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Health directors in northern Virginia say the region is not yet ready to lift stay-at-home orders and other restrictions that the rest of the state is preparing to implement.
In a memo released Sunday, the health directors say the region is not meeting important benchmarks, like reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The region’s political leaders wrote a letter to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Sunday accompanying the memo.
They ask Northam to allow northern Virginia to move at a slower pace in easing restrictions.
Northam has said he'd consider allowing northern Virginia to exempt itself from Phase 1 of reopening the economy, which is expected to launch on Friday.
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.