State Watch

Northam: Northern Virginia will likely delay phase one reopening over persistent coronavirus cases

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Monday that parts of the state will likely have to wait before proceeding with a reopening plan due to persistent rates of new coronavirus cases in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reported that Northam said he will probably exclude northern areas of the state from a phase one reopening plan set to be unveiled later this week, which would allow some nonessential businesses in the state to reopen.

Northam painted a picture of a sharp divide across the state, with D.C. suburbs accounting for around two-thirds of the new coronavirus cases reported across Virginia by state officials on Monday. The situation mirrors that in Maryland, where officials have seen high rates of coronavirus cases in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, where many D.C. workers live. Maryland is set to begin reopening nonessential businesses this week, with the state’s governor encouraging local officials to take the lead.

“We actively encourage local leaders to make plans and decisions that are best for their residents, and the governor has said there may be some regional aspects to the reopening,” a spokesperson for Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told WUSA9.

“We feel that we’re in a place where we can safely go into phase one in most areas of Virginia — obviously Northern Virginia is the exception,” Northam said, according to the Post. “The metrics look a bit different in Northern Virginia than they do in the rest of the state.”

Northam’s announcement followed a formal request sent to the state by local officials in northern Virginia, while officials in the southern half of the state have called for Northam to proceed with reopening plans.

“We have called for a regional approach to reopening for weeks, and it seems we are being held up due to northern Virginia,” Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R), a state lawmaker from Southwest Virginia, told the Post. “While Northern Virginia has [its] concerns with reopening, the ‘Rest of Virginia’ as the Governor and his chief of staff referred to us are willing and able to safely begin that process.”

Tags Coronavirus

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

See all Hill.TV See all Video

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

Main area bottom

Top Stories

See All

Most Popular

Load more