Northam open to idea of reopening business on regional basis

Ralph Northam
Posted at 12:22 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 12:22:23-04

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is open to the idea of opening businesses in southwest Virginia before the rest of the state as he weighs when coronavirus restrictions can be lifted.

Northam said at a press conference that the situation in the border city of Bristol illustrates why a regional approach might be necessary.

Bristol is a city that sits on both sides of the Virginia-Tennessee border. While Tennessee has now allowed some businesses to reopen, businesses on the Virginia side remain shuttered.

Last week, Northam downplayed the idea of opening businesses on a regional basis. On Monday, he questioned the fairness of keeping the Virginia side of Bristol closed.

“To try to be consistent, is it really fair for Tennessee's businesses to be open and Virginia's not to be?” Northam asked. "I'm open-minded to all of that. I would say, ‘Stay tuned.'”