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May 4, 2020

Va. business reopenings tentatively slated May 15

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Black Bear Bistro in Warrenton, which has this sign on its door, and other restaurants would begin seating customers Friday, May 15, if things proceed the way Gov. Ralph Northam described the situation Monday.
Every morning when I come to work . . . . I look at the number of new cases and the number of deaths. The most powerful metric to me is the number of deaths.
— Gov. Ralph Northam
Virginia restaurants, gyms, barbershops and salons could begin reopening Friday, May 15, Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday.

But, Gov. Northam extended closure orders affecting those businesses — due to expire Friday, May 8 — another week.

“The message today is we will open Virginia next Friday,” he said during an hour-long press conference in Richmond. “We really want the businesses to do everything they can to make sure consumers feel safe.”

His administration in coming days will publish guidelines for business reopenings, the governor said. Those probably will include regulations for the number of patrons, customer spacing, protective equipment and, in the case of salons, required appointments.

Gov. Northam on March 24 ordered “non-essential” businesses closed for a month and later extended that order to May 8.

“Everyone in Virginia has made sacrifices,” he said. “But everything you’ve done made differences . . . . I’m aware that it came at tremendous costs.”

The state plans a three-phased approach to easing restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each phase will last two to four weeks, the governor said.

But, data will determine Virginia’s reopening paced, he added.

“Every morning when I come to work . . . . I look at the number of new cases and the number of deaths,” with the latter generally increasing 25 to 40 a day, Gov. Northam said. “The most powerful metric to me is the number of deaths.”

But, some of the data, particularly the percentage of infections among people tested, has begun to decline, he noted.

Among other things, Phase Two would allow social gatherings of up to 50 people — versus 10 under the existing order. If all goes well, the state could start Phase Two early next month.

Still, the governor’s “stay-at-home” order remains in effect until June 10. But, Gov. Northam said that order could get modified.

For example, campgrounds might reopen before then, he said.

“I want to make it clear: This virus is still here; it has not gone away and it will not go away until we have a vaccination,” the governor said. “We must figure out a path forward, but we must always be aware that this virus is still with us.

“We must not relax our vigilance or think that the risk has passed, especially for our most vulnerable populations.”

If the state officials detect no evidence of a rebound in cases, Virginia would enter Phase Three. That could include lifting the ban on social gatherings and removing capacity limits on businesses and buildings. But, the state would continue to provide guidelines for enhanced cleaning and other preventive measures.

The governor will conduct another briefing at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Forward Virginia Presentati... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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Linda Ward · May 5, 2020 at 5:03 pm
Some of the businesses opening seem rather non-essential, except to the employees and owners. It's like who needs an emergency Brazilian Bikini wax job? Or their weekly Botox injections? We already know that you color your hair and have wrinkles.
emilyray · May 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Unfortunately, the quarantine situation also has a negative impact on some areas of business, it is a pity if some of them are forced to close forever. In college, we often consider options for business out of crisis situations, and other equally interesting topics. If I have problems with some work, I turn to
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