Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
After elected officials in Northern Virginia sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) asking him to delay partially reopening the region - a letter Northam himself asked them to write - the governor has agreed to delay entering Phase One of the state's reopening plan for the northern counties.
Northam made the delay official on Tuesday, WTOP reported
, announcing Northern Virginia would not begin reopening for another two weeks, while the rest of the state can begin easing restrictions starting Friday.
"While the data show Virginia as a whole is ready to slowly and deliberately ease some restrictions, it is too soon for Northern Virginia. I support the request from localities in this region to delay implementation of Phase One to protect public health,"
Northam said in a statement.
Included with the statement was Executive Order 62, which allows "Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg and Vienna (Northern Virginia Region) to remain in what's called Phase Zero until one minute before midnight on the night of Thursday, May 28," WTOP reported.
Northam also said that about 70% of Virginia's coronavirus cases have come from Northern Virginia, adding that 25% of COVID-19 tests in the northern counties came back positive, while just 10% of tests came back positive in the rest of the state.
For the state to even enter Phase One of Northam's Forward Virginia plan, several conditions must be met, according to WTOP:
- A downward trend of positive test results over a period of 14 days
- A downward trend of hospitalizations over a period of 14 days
- Sufficient hospital beds and intensive care capacity
- Increasing a sustainable supply of personal protective equipment such as masks, respirators, gloves and gowns
- Increased testing and contact tracing.
Phase One allows previously deemed nonessential businesses like restaurants and hair salons to reopen at 50% capacity, though restaurants can only offer outdoor seating. Places of worship may also reopen at this time. Private campgrounds will also reopen.
As The Daily Wire previously reported
, elected officials from Northern Virginia counties, who represent nearly 2.4 million state residents, wrote a letter to Northam showing solidarity not to reopen the region.
"We eagerly wish to rebuild our economy and help our residents recover,"
the officials wrote in their letter.
"It is only through our regional achievement of these milestones that we will be positioned to avoid a more damaging return to business closures later in the summer,"
Northam had requested the officials write and sign the letter together to avoid differing policies in neighboring counties.
"He asked for this formal communication to demonstrate unity across the diverse Northern Virginia region, which is critical to a continued successful mitigation strategy,"
said Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky. "He appreciates their willingness to work with him on this responsible, data-driven and health-based approach."