RICHMOND, Va. -- Vehicles decorated with USA and ReOpen Virginia paraded around the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday.
The ReOpen Virginia drive-in rally was designed to send a message to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam -- reopen Virginia's economy sooner rather than later.
"If we go to June 10, and suddenly people get out of their houses and they want to go back to work, but their employers aren't there. So now we've got a huge unemployment crisis," rally organizer Dave Britt said. "We've got landlords who have wonderfully deferred payment and utilities. All these folks that are deferring payments, they're going to want their money and these people are not going to have an income to pay it. I'm not advocating that we flip the switch and say everybody go to work tomorrow. What we're talking about is working together to open in a mindful and reasonable way."
According to federal guidelines, Virginia would need to report 14 consecutive days of a decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases in order to begin Phase One of reopening the state.
During the rally, a man in scrubs was standing in the street holding a sign that read, "Distance because the science says so, not because the governor says so."
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.