Today Governor Northam announced that leaders in Northern Virginia and Accomack county have quested their areas be allowed to move to Phase One of Virginia’s reopening. The Governor has agreed that those two areas can move to Phase One beginning on Friday.
Things are less certain for Richmond. Mayor Levar Stoney is working with the Governor on a modified schedule for opening Richmond for Phase One. More information on Richmond in the next few days.
The Governor’s second big announcement was a new requirement that everyone wears a facemask in public. This Executive Order will go into effect on Friday. The only exception will be when people are eating or drinking. Law enforcement will not enforce this rule. The Virignia Department of Health will enforce it, but it has not been decided how they will enforce it. Northam hopes that when the General Assembly meets in July or August they will decide civil penalties for noncompliance.
Face covering requirements:
- Everyone over age 10 (but the Governor believes everyone over age 2 should wear a mask)
- Inside all brick and mortar establishments
- Inside all personal care and grooming establishments
- Inside places where people congregate
- Inside all food and beverage establishments, except when eating
- On public transportation
- When accessing state or local government services
There has been no decision made on when the state may move to stage 2. The governor hopes to have more information on that later this week but from the way he spoke, it will not be this week because there hasn’t been enough time to access the necessary data.
Northam also said no decision has been made on opening schools, K-12 and universities, in the fall but the governor hopes the schools will be able open. He has a group studying that issue. If the schools open he hopes masks will be required.
The governor’s next press conference will be on Thursday.