Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 62 today, May 12, 2020, which delays the easing of some public health restrictions in Northern Virginia for an additional two weeks. As a result, Loudoun County and the other Northern Virginia jurisdictions will continue to operate under guidelines set in previous executive orders that are intended to reduce the spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, until May 28, 2020.
The order delays localities in Northern Virginia from entering Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan, which is the first step in easing public health restrictions on certain business operations that were put in place in response to the pandemic. Loudoun will remain in Phase Zero until May 28. The differences between the two phases are illustrated in this table.
Executive Order 62 is based on several data points that indicate Northern Virginia is not ready to enter Phase One of the governor’s plan. The 2.5 million residents of the city of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William represent nearly a third of the population of Virginia and half of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. According to health officials, on any given day, 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s positive cases are attributable to the Northern Virginia region.
The governor’s order came after the chief elected officials of the five largest localities in Northern Virginia formally requested approval to remain in Phase Zero until regional threshold metrics have been met.
No matter what phase of reopening a particular region is in, everyone should continue to practice steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19. These include staying home except for essential trips; staying home when sick; frequent hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly; staying at least 6 feet apart from other people when outside the home; and wearing a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth when in a situation where physical distancing practices are difficult to maintain.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.
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