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Moving Forward: Virginia to Enter Phase Three of Reopening on July 1

"Everyone should continue to take this pandemic seriously. Cases are on the rise in many other states... I do not want to see that happen in our commonwealth," Northam said.

Gov. Northam at an appearance in Alexandria last year. (Zebra file photo)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D-VA) announced Tuesday afternoon that Virginia is on track to enter the third phase of reopening. The entire state – including the City of Alexandria – is expected to make the transition on Wednesday, July 1.

The governor stressed however that the move is contingent on metrics. He will also listen to medical experts who could report changes in the coming days.

Northam said he chose the statewide move because metrics “continue to look good.” According to data released, new cases and hospitalizations are down. More testing is available as well, with a positive rate of only 6.4 percent.

Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” plan continues the theme of “safer-at-home.” And Northam urged people to use caution.

“Everyone should continue to take this pandemic seriously. Cases are on the rise in many other states… I do not want to see that happen in our commonwealth,” he said.

During the third phase, social distancing and masks are still required. But as before, there are medical exceptions regarding masks. Click HERE to see guidelines on physical distancing practices.

Here are some changes you can expect to see:

  • Capacity caps will be lifted for restaurants and retail, but social distancing is required
  • Zoos and entertainment venues can reopen at half capacity or up to 1,000 people
  • Gyms and swimming pools can allow 75 percent capacity
  • Child care facilities can reopen

During the press conference, Northam also announced that he would allow the Virginia Department of Health to release the names of care facilities for the elderly that have had a COVID-19 outbreak.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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