RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia will remain a Phase Two coronavirus reopening, Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
After two weeks at the Phase Two level, the earliest Virginia could have entered Phase Three was Friday.
The governor said Virginia would remain in Phase Two despite the fact "our numbers continue to look favorable."
"Our total case numbers have been trending downward. The number of hospital beds occupied by COVID patients is trending down, as is the number of patients hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID test," the governor said. "But I want to have more time to see how the numbers look before we make changes, especially as we see surges in other parts of our country."
The governor said he would explain what Phase Three will look like at his next briefing, scheduled for Thursday.
Phase Two reopening includes masks, social distancing, restaurants at half capacity, and workout facilities at 30% capacity.
More than 55,000 Virginians have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing started in March. The virus has been blamed for 1,570 deaths in Virginia.
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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.