Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that Northern Virginia, including Loudoun County, will enter Phase Two of the “Forward Virginia” reopening plan Friday, June 12, 2020. Phase Two is the next step in gradually easing public health restrictions that are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Northam indicated Virginia’s health metrics overall are “looking positive,” citing the downward trend in the percent of positive tests and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 over 14 days, sufficient hospital capacity and personal protection equipment (PPE) and increasing testing capacity. The governor’s temporary stay-at-home order expired on June 4, 2020.
Phase Two of the plan:
- Increases the number of people allowed to gather in groups from 10 to 50 people; the restrictions do not apply to people performing functions of their employment.
- Allows restaurants, breweries, wineries, etc., to offer indoor service in accordance with a number of guidelines, including seating patrons six feet apart, not exceeding 50% capacity of the establishment, and limiting total number of patrons to 50.
- Allows fitness centers, gymnasiums, etc., to reopen in accordance with a number of guidelines, including keeping patrons at least ten feet apart and limiting the total number of attendees to 30% of the facility’s occupancy capacity.
- Allows brick and mortar retail stores and personal grooming businesses to continue to operate in accordance with a number of guidelines, including limiting the total number of patrons to 50% of the facility’s occupancy capacity.
- Allows outdoor and indoor swimming pools to open for lap swimming, diving, exercise, and instruction only and must be limited to no more than three persons per lane with ten feet of physical distance per swimmer.
- Allows people to attend religious services in accordance with a number of guidelines, including limiting the total number of attendees to 50% of the facility’s occupancy capacity, seating attendees six feet apart (except for family members), and disinfecting frequently-contacted surfaces before and after religious services.
The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) has announced the opening of many facilities, programs and services beginning Monday, June 15, 2020.
Some recreational businesses must remain closed in Phase Two, including indoor theaters, performing arts centers, and concert venues, as well as businesses and events, such as bowling alleys, amusement parks and fairs/carnivals.
“It is important to recognize that while the steps Loudoun residents have taken over the past two months to reduce the spread of infection have caused the health metrics to head in the right direction and allowed us to move to Phase Two of the reopening plan, the potential for exposure to COVID-19 remains present in our community,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “So, I continue to recommend that older adults and people with underlying health conditions use extra caution in public, and ask that all of us remain vigilant in practicing infection control measures that include washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, maintaining six foot distances when possible and wearing face coverings in public, to help keep us headed in the right direction.”
While Northern Virginia will move into Phase Two, Governor Northam’s Executive Order 63 (PDF), which requires the use of face coverings in most public indoor locations, remains in effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Governor Northam also announced Tuesday that all public and private schools in Virginia will be able to reopen this fall. The reopening plan for schools is a phased approach that allows Virginia school districts to slowly resume in-person classes for summer school and the coming academic year.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
- Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
- Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19.
- Text LCCOVIDESP to 88877 to receive text messages in Spanish from Loudoun County 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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