Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that all of Virginia is expected to enter the third phase of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan on July 1.
Northam (D) last week delayed Virginia from entering the third phase because state officials needed more time to review the state’s health metrics. He said the metrics “look good” at Tuesday’s briefing and, barring a dramatic shift in the figures, the pandemic restrictions will be further loosened next Wednesday.
“I want to reiterate that everybody should continue to take this pandemic seriously,” Northam said. “Cases are on the rise in many other states as I said previously. I don’t want to see that happen in our commonwealth. Be cautious and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and the people around you.”
Under the ”Phase 3” guidelines, social gatherings can include up to 250 people, child care facilities will be open and the capacity 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.
Loudoun County as of Wednesday morning had seen 84 deaths and 258 hospitalizations related to COVID-19. The county had confirmed 3,683 cases since the outbreak began.
Local percent positivity in testing had dropped to 8 percent as of Tuesday.
Statewide, the commonwealth on Tuesday had seen 1,645 deaths since the outbreak began, 58,994 confirmed cases and 5,913 hospitalizations.