WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Most parts of the US state of Virginia will be able to begin a new phase of economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic beginning 5 June, Governor Ralph Northam told reporters on Tuesday.
“Our health data continues to look good. Based on that, I feel comfortable allowing most of Virginia to move into phase 2 this Friday, June 5,” Northam said.
The governor said the state’s capital and biggest city - Richmond - as well as suburbs of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia will remain in the initial phase of the recovery plan until the situation improves.
“They only moved into phase one last Friday, and we need more time to monitor their health metrics,” he said.
Speaking of entering the new phase, the governor said it means more flexibility for some businesses. Restaurants and fitness centers can resume indoor activities with serious limitations, while pools, museums and botanical gardens can reopen with some restrictions, he said.
“Gatherings will be limited to 50 people, rather than 10,” the governor added.
Meanwhile, Northam called on people to continue staying at home, if it is possible.
“We still strongly encourage teleworking and physical distancing,” he said. “Face covering required at indoor spaces.”
The governor has promised to provide more details on a new phase of the recovery plan on Thursday.
As of Tuesday, Virginia registered 46,239 COVID-19 cases and 1,407 deaths, most of them occurred in the city of Richmond and in the northern parts of the state near the US national capital.