You might see more people out and about on the Peninsula.
Gov. Ralph Northam previously announced most of the state would enter Phase 1 of reopening Friday.
Northam on Thursday delayed Phase 1 for Richmond and Accomack County — both localities requested the extensions. They will enter Phase 1 no earlier than midnight on May 28.
Much of Northern Virginia also will delay Phase 1 for two weeks.
But what exactly is Phase 1 and who does it affect?
WYDaily compiled some information so you won’t scratch your head wondering why people are shopping in stores, getting their hair cut, drinking on restaurant patios or going to church.
- What is Phase 1? It’s the first step in Northam’s plan to reopen during the coronavirus: Forward Virginia. The plan is made up of three parts or phases, each with its own set of restrictions and lasting anywhere from two to four weeks. Phase 1 lets the following places open Friday with 50 percent capacity: non-essential retail shops, outdoor seating at restaurants and bars and indoor seating at houses of worship. In addition, other places can open with some restrictions.
- What information did Northam use to determine Virginia could enter Phase 1? Northam said his decision is based on health metrics such as the downward trend of the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases over two weeks, the number of people hospitalized, hospital bed capacity, the number of people on ventilators and the amount of personal protective equipment available. So while the cases continue to increase as more people get tested or the tests results are published, Northam is primarily looking at the number of test that come back positive or rather the percent of tests that are positive.
- Who does this affect? Everyone. Want to get your hair cut? Make an appointment with your favorite hair salon or barber shop, but make sure you and your stylist wear a face mask. Does your gym have outdoor classes? You can now participate with social distancing measures, of course. Love exploring nature or walking around outside? State parks are open during the day and beaches are still open for exercising and fishing.
- Why should I care? Malls and other boutiques are now open for businesses. Restaurants can now seat people outside and campgrounds may open with restrictions and distancing between campsites. Still don’t care? If you or someone you know is considered “essential” and has children, childcare centers are open for families.
- Anything else I should know? Some rules still apply. People, especially vulnerable populations like elderly or immunocompromised, are safer at home. Social gatherings of 10 or more people aren’t allowed. Face coverings are recommended in public and people are still encouraged to continue teleworking and practice social distancing.
YOU ALSO MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT THESE STORIES:
- Still confused about Phase 1 reopening? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide
- Northam: Phase 1 reopening will be ‘slow, cautious and deliberate’
- Phase 1: Restaurants, hotels prepare to reopen as coronavirus cases continue to go up
- Vaccinations are declining in Virginia and pediatricians are worried about a new public health problem. What’s going on locally?
- An area health care system is not testing patients for the coronavirus before elective surgery while others are. Here’s why