Northern Virginia to open slower than rest of the state, Governor says

Virginia

VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Gov. Ralph Northam gave a Monday update to COVID-19 response in Virginia.

Northern Virginia continues to be hit the hardest with coronavirus cases, with Fairfax County now up to more than 6,000 total positive cases, the Virginia Department of Health reports as of May 11. Each of the northern Virginia counties have reported more than 1,000 total positive cases since the data tracking began.

As of May 11, northern Virginia counties are reporting these positive case totals:

  • Fairfax County: 6,200
  • Prince William County: 2,991
  • Arlington County: 1,399
  • Alexandria: 1,224
  • Loudoun County: 1,195

“The number of cases alone doesn’t give us an accurate picture of the disease,” Northam said during his Monday press conference, but with context it can help understand and compare to other regions.

He added that northern Virginia is joining the rest of the state in reporting fewer positive cases now. But while the trend is going down, the percent positive between northern Virginia and the rest differs. Northern Virginia has a 25% positivity rate, while the rest of the commonwealth has 10%, Northam said.

Phase One to reopen Virginia was introduced last week. The plan, called Forward Virginia, enacts a “safer-at-home” order vs. the governor’s current stay-at-home order. Phase One includes continuing to stay safe by avoiding gatherings of more than 10 and continuing to wear face coverings, as well as teleworking.

But it will include easing restrictions on businesses and faith communities. Due to northern Virginia’s trends at this time, the governor said Monday that the region will reopen slower than the rest of the commonwealth.

Watch a full replay of the press conference below.

Elections

Tuesday, May 12 is the last day for voters to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them for local elections in Virginia, Northam reminded on Monday. The governor is encouraging everyone eligible to request a mailed ballot, as it’s the safest way to vote at this time. Town and city elections have been moved to May 19.

For the June elections, the voters in the Towns of Lovettesville, Middleburg, Purcellville in Loudoun County have a deadline of Thursday, May 28 to request an absentee ballot be mailed to them.

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