Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced on Tuesday that most of the commonwealth will move into the second phase of the state’s reopening plan due to the impact of COVID-19 on Friday.
Similar to the first phase, however, Richmond and northern Virginia, including Loudoun County, are being delayed.
The minimum amount of time localities have remained in phases is two weeks.
Northam said “we need more time to monitor their health metrics” after northern Virginia reopened last Friday.
Northam said Accomack County on the Eastern Shore, which has remained in “Phase Zero” for more than two weeks, underwent rigorous testing. As a result, the locality will be entering the second phase of reopening on Friday.
Under the “Phase Two” guidelines, restaurants, gyms, sports, outdoor entertainment venues and gatherings will be allowed to have up to 50 people.
Gyms and fitness centers can have indoor classes and workouts at 30 percent of their capacity, and swimming pools can open with some restrictions.
Entertainment spaces such as museums, zoos, botanical gardens and outdoor venues can reopen with some restrictions. Recreational sports are allowed with physical distancing requirements and no shared equipment. Swimming pools can be open to exercise and swim instructions.
Public and private gatherings are limited to 50 people.
Northam is also encouraging people to telework, physical distance and to wear face masks in indoor spaces.
As part of his Forward Virginia plan to reopen, Northam's staff has been monitoring the number of positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, hospital bed and intensive care capacity, the amount of personal protective equipment at health care facilities and testing capabilities.
Northam said the Virginia Department of Social Services will be contacting child care services to prepare for the second phase. He will provide more updates about the second phase and youth sports during Thursday’s briefing.
Loudoun County's total number of coronavirus-related deaths stands at 67. The number cases stand at 2,636 on Tuesday, according to the latest figures reported by the state. There have been 67 deaths and 165 people hospitalized.
Loudoun County's current 7-day average for percent positivity in testing has fallen to 12.8 percent.
Statewide, the number of cases on Tuesday jumped by 841 to 46,239. There have been 1,407 deaths, 4,770 hospitalizations and 328,889 tests administered.