At his press conference today the Governor outlined requirements for a planned Phase One reopening of Virginia.
First, the state must expand testing for COVID-19 to 10,000 patients a day. Second, the results of those tests must show a decline in the percentage of positive cases every day for 2 weeks. Third, the number of people hospitalized for the virus must decrease daily for 2 weeks. (Hospitalizations seem to be stable, although Northam has extended the ban on elective surgeries and other medical procedures until May first. That story here and here, without paywalls.) There must also be enough hospital capacity and PPEs statewide before the Governor will move on to Phase One of his program for reopening the state.
Once those things have been accomplished, Phase One of reopening in Virginia will include:
- Some businesses will be allowed to open with strict restrictions
- Continued social distancing
- Continued teleworking
- Face covering recommended while in public
When asked, the Governor said he could not project a date when the commonwealth could move into Phase One. We first have to meet the criteria for at least two weeks. The Governor hopes to coordinate Virginia’s reopening with that of Maryland and DC. (That will cause another delay because both of them have far more COVID-19 cases (per 100,000) than Virginia.
The Governor also announced that he has moved the date of the elections in the 50 towns and cities across the commonwealth from May 5th to May 19th.