Gov. Ralph Northam announced today that most of Virginia will move into Phase 2 of his reopening program on Friday, but Loudoun and the rest of Northern Virginia will have to wait at least another week before getting the chance to eat indoors at restaurants and swim laps in public pools.
While County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) had told business owners that she hoped the region would be able to move into Phase 2 with the rest of Virginia, that appears unlikely to happen.
Northam said he would present details of the Phase 2 operational rules during his Thursday afternoon press conference. The relaxing of social distancing rules will allow gatherings of up to 50 people, restaurants and gyms to open at a limited indoor capacity, and entertainment venues, such as museums to welcome back visitors.
Northern Virginia moved into Phase 1 operations last Friday, two weeks after most other areas of the commonwealth. The reopening was delayed because of concerns about higher COVID-19 infection rates and a lack of testing. In the subsequent weeks, testing has increase substantially while the positivity rate of those tested has continued to fall.