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Today, at his COVID press conference, Governor Northam announced beginning on Friday, June 19th, Virginia will celebrate a new, paid holiday, Juneteenth. The Commonwealth will join Texas as the only two states celebrating Juneteenth.
Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned that they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two and a half years previously but slaves in Texas were unaware until Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders announcing that all slaves were free. The order was read in Galveston Texas. More on Juneteenth here.
The Governor also announced at the press conference that we will not be moving into Phase 3 this week even though all the COVID numbers are down. The percentage of positive tests is down to 7.4%. He has concerns that a few other states have had surges in the number of virus cases. Northam wants to wait to see if the same thing happens in Virginia. On Thursday he will talk more about the pandemic, including the data on minorities and the virus. He will also announce on Thursday more about what Phase 3 will look like when he allows us to move to into it.
Richmond has called in the state police to help quell the riots that continue in the city.