Northern Virginia is officially in Phase 2!
What does that mean? It means that Virginia has decided that illness-related health risks have lessened in the past 2 weeks since the beginning of Phase 1. The state of Virginia just added 400+ new confirmed cases to its bottom line the day before implementing Phase 2. Regardless, we want you to be prepared for what to expect as Northern Virginia joins the rest of the state by shifting gears into Phase 2 of re-opening.
What Are The Rules for Phase 2?
- Safer-at-Home is still in effect. This holds especially true for high risk individuals. If you are able, telework and try to limit interactions with others.
- Face masks and/or coverings are required in public places.
- Social gathering capacity has increased from a maximum of 10 to a maximum of 50 people.
- Restaurants can now operate indoors and outdoors at 50% capacity.
- Gyms can open their indoor spaces at 30% capacity.
- Swimming pools can re-open with strict regulations.
- Museums, aquariums, zoos and gardens can open with either less than 50 people or at 50% capacity, whichever is less.
- Non-essential retail will remain open at 50% capacity.
- Beaches are open with social distancing guidelines in effect.
- Religious Institutions can operate at 50% capacity.
- Personal grooming services will remain by-appointment-only.
- State parks and private campgrounds are open.
It is important to remember that while our community takes next steps toward re-opening our community, the threat of this illness is not gone. Please continue to remain cautious, careful and follow CDC recommendations. Finally, all high risk individuals should continue to remain in place through Phase Two.
If you are a business-owner, you can find more information on best practices regarding social distancing, disinfecting and more at: www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia.
Northam on Re-Opening Schools in the Fall
On Wednesday, June 10th the Governor announced his plans to re-open K-12 schools. Virginia will implement a phased approach with a goal to get schools operating at full capacity in a safe manner. The plan is to start with small groups and to give localities the authority to make decisions that are right for their students and their staff. Schools are expected to follow CDC guidelines with daily health checks, remote learning opportunities, social distancing and use of face coverings.
In this plan, schools are largely expected to take create safe environments and correct mistakes on their own with limited guidance from the state.
Here are some helpful tips as we enter Phase 2:
- If you choose to partake in Phase 2, keep hand sanitizer with you, wash hands frequently and avoid engaging with or visiting high risk individuals.
- Do not touch your face.
- Keep a minimum of 6 feet away from others.
- If you feel unwell or have a cough or fever, stay home.
- When visiting restaurants, consider bringing your own utensils and straws with you.
We are not experts on pandemics, viruses or public health planning; however, we do care about our community. These tips are only to assist you in making the best decisions you can to stay safe and healthy.