RICHMOND, Va. -- Most of Virginia will enter Phase Two reopening on Friday, June 5, the governor announced Tuesday. The City of Richmond will remain in Phase One.
“Phase Two will include more flexibility for restaurants, gyms, sports, outdoor entertainment venues, and gatherings of up to 50 people. It means restaurants can have indoor seating again at 50% of their capacity. It means gyms and fitness centers can have indoor classes and workouts at 30% of their capacity and pools can open with some restrictions,” Governor Ralph Northam said “It means some of our entertainment venues like museums, and zoos, botanical gardens and outdoor venues can reopen. Again with some restrictions. It means recreational sports are allowed with physical distancing requirements and no shared equipment. And it means swimming pools can be open to exercise and swim instruction.”
The governor released these social distancing guidelines for businesses under Phase Two:
- Establish policies and practices for physical distancing between co-workers and between members of the public.
- Provide clear communication and signage for physical distancing in areas where individuals may congregate, especially at entrances, in seating areas, and in check-out lines.
- Limit the occupancy of physical spaces to ensure that adequate physical distancing may be maintained.
- Encourage telework whenever possible.
- For those businesses where telework is not feasible, temporarily move or stagger workstations to ensure six feet of separation between co-workers and between members of the public.
- Limit in-person work-related gatherings, including conferences, trade shows, and trainings.
- When in-person meetings need to occur, keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number of employees in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
The transition from Phase One to Phase Two was made possible by the positive trend of key COVID-19 numbers, the governor said.
“We've been in Phase One for nearly three weeks and our health data continues to look good. Our hospitals do not report any shortage of PPE and we work continuously to help make sure our medical facilities have the PPE that they need. Our hospital bed capacity remains steady,” he said. “Statewide, the percentage of people hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID test has a slight downward trend. Our health data metrics show that testing is increasing. And the percent of tests that are positive continues to trend downward.”
Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond, which entered Phase One reopening later than the rest of the state, will remain in Phase One for now.
This is a developing story.
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.