Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is delaying Virginia from entering the third phase of the commonwealth's reopening plan for at least another week.
On Thursday, the governor shared the details of "Phase 3" during his COVID-19 report while visiting Fairfax County. The region entered phase two of the commonwealth's reopening plan last weekend.
Northam encouraged Virginians to continue practice social distancing guidelines, telework and following the state requirement of wearing a face mask while in indoor public places.
“We are not moving to ‘Phase 3’ yet,” Northam said. “Our health data is positive. We are also monitoring other states. We're going to be cautious and careful and watch the data a little while longer before we move forward.”
Under the "Phase 3" guidelines, he said social gatherings will include up 250 people, child care facilities will be open, and the cap will be lifted for nonessential businesses, restaurants and beverage services.
Entertainment venues such as museums, zoos and other outdoor venues will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity (up to 1,000 people). Gyms, fitness centers and swimming pools may open to 75 percent capacity.
Personal grooming services such as hair salons will still have to follow social distancing guidelines. Overnight summer camps will remain closed.
Northam said the coronavirus has hit the Latino community especially hard, making up 45 percent of the cases, according to VDH. He shared several initiatives and partnerships to address the health needs of the Latino community and other minority groups. Fairfax County has a high Latino population, part of the reason Northam held his briefing there Thursday.
Loudoun County as of Thursday had seen 115 new cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, with 11 new related deaths reported, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Local percent positivity in testing dropped from 12 percent to 10.7 for as of June 16, the most recent day data was available.
Loudoun County had 82 deaths related to the virus as of Thursday, 3,499 cases and 228 hospitalizations.
While the percent positivity in testing is dropping, State Del. David Reid (D-32nd) said recently this is the time to begin planning for a second wave of coronavirus cases. Reid represents constituents across Lansdowne, Ashburn and Broadlands.
“The approach we took in the first wave – a complete shutdown of the state – is not going to be the right answer for the second wave,” Reid said in his letter.
Statewide, as of Thursday, the commonwealth had seen 1,732 new cases and 40 new deaths since Sunday. Virginia had seen 1,586 deaths altogether since the outbreak began, 56,238 confirmed cases and 5,744 hospitalizations.