Northam: Virginia to move to Phase Three on July 1
Virginia will move into Phase Three of the reopening from the COVID-19 public health shutdown on Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday.
This means restaurants and beverage establishments can open to 100 percent capacity, provided they maintain six feet physical distancing between tables. Fitness centers can open to 75 percent indoor capacity, recreation and entertainment venues can open to 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people.
Swimming pools can resume free swim, in addition to already permitted indoor and outdoor exercise.
Phase Three also raises the upper limit on social gatherings from 50 people to 250 people.
All businesses should continue to follow physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and keep enhanced workplace safety measures in place.
Phase Three includes continued recommendations for social distancing and teleworking, and the requirement that individuals wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
Inside the Numbers: Trending positive
The move comes as the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 numbers continue to improve.
The seven-day moving average of new cases, from today’s update from the Virginia Department of Health, is at 523, down 56.2 percent from the recent peak of 1,195 back on May 31.
The number of Virginians hospitalized with COVID-19 is at 847 today, down 44.4 percent from the recent high of 1,524 on May 29.
Hospitals in Virginia have 26.2 percent of their beds open, down from the 31.9 percent that were open back on April 30, when Northam lifted his executive order banning elective medical procedures in hospitals that had been put in place to preserve capacity for the surge of COVID-19 patients that never ended up materializing.
The number of Virginia COVID-19 patients in ICU beds today is at 245, representing 12.3 percent of the state’s overall ICU capacity, down 41.1 percent from the recent peak of 416 COVID-19 ICU patients back on May 28.
The number of Virginia COVID-19 patients on ventilators today is 126, representing 4.2 percent of the state’s stock of 2,995 ventilators.
The peak number there was 276 back on April 14. Today’s total is down 54.3 percent from the peak.
Story by Chris Graham