We watch so you don’t have to
Today the Governor spoke from the Board of Supervisors room in Fairfax county to update us on his plans for phase 3 reopening plan. However, he has no plans to allow us to move to Phase 3 even though our COVID cases and deaths are at the lowest since the virus began in Virginia. Northam said while we are moving “in the right direction” he wants more data before moving to phase 3. (He wants to hang onto his power as King of all Virginians, and their businesses, for as long as possible.)
When we are finally allowed to move to Phase 3, at some unknown time in the future, there will be some changes:
- We will be permitted to have gatherings up to 250 people, but social distancing will continue and masks must be worn inside
- There will be no caps on retail and restaurants but they must continue social distancing
- The same rules for hair salons and nail salons will be in effect as in Phase 2
- Pools and Gyms may be open at 75% capacity
- Zoos and museums may open at 50%
- Overnight camps will remain closed
- More rules for Phase 3 may be found later today at the Governor’s website
The Governor emphasized that while the COVID data is good, the virus is still with us, “nothing has changed”. We must continue to wear masks in public and practice social distancing. He is closely watching what is happening in other states. Heat and humidity don’t seem to be helping to destroy the virus as evidenced by surges in some southern states. Virginia is doing well because of the rules imposed by the Governor, so those rules must continue.
Northam and others discussed the “disproportionality” of the virus. It affects Hispanics and Blacks much more than other races so their neighborhoods are targetted for extra help, PPE’s, and more contact tracers. Immigrants are being given extra time to apply for Medicaid. Virginia’s Health Equity program is identifying neighborhoods with high numbers of COVID and they are receiving more PPE’s, hand sanitizer, more testing and tracing, and more masks.
A cheer went up when the Governor said Prince William County had abolished their 287G program. Police in PWC will no longer inform ICE when an illegal immigrant has been arrested. They will go back to “catch and release” as is done in other counties.
More cheering came when the Governor announced, twice, that the Supreme Court had extended the DACA program. The Trump administration may not end the program for the 800,000 “dreamers” who came to this country illegally with their parents.
More on the Governor’s announcements here.