Virginia Gov. Northam Extending Closure of Nonessential Businesses Through May 14

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Ralph Northam speaks during a campaign rally in Richmond, Virginia on October 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced on Monday that he is extending his executive order shutting down businesses deemed “nonessential” until May 14.

All nonessential businesses will remain closed for at least another week, Northam said on Monday. He extended the original order, which was set to expire this week, and extended it even further on Monday, through May 14.

However, he said he hopes the state can begin to move into the first phase of reopening next week, as early as Friday, May 15. Under Phase I, social gatherings are limited to groups no larger than ten, social distancing and teleworking remains in place, face coverings are recommended in public, and restrictions on businesses and religious gatherings are lessened.

Northam said:

Here’s the bottom line. You’ll be able to get your hair cut, but you’ll need an appointment. And you’ll see new safety measures in the salon. It means you can go out to eat again. But restaurants will use less of their seating so to spread people out more.  Employees will wear face coverings and they’ll do more cleaning. Phase I means more retail establishments can be open. But they’ll have to operate at lower capacity. You can go to the gym, but with fewer people and more requirements for cleaning.

Phase II expands social gatherings, limiting them to 50 people. Social distancing and teleworking will remain in tact, face coverings will continue to be encouraged, and additional restrictions on businesses will be relaxed. Both phases could last 2-4 weeks “or longer,” according to the governor.

Phase III will remove limits to capacity in businesses and social gatherings and encourage “Safer at Home” for vulnerable populations. However, the final phase will require “no evidence of a rebound” of the virus “for a sustained period of time.” The final phase could be “10-12 weeks away, or more,” according to the slides provided by the governor during his Monday press conference.

Residents flocked to Virginia state’s capital last month to protest Northam’s “draconian, autocratic, administrative orders.”

“Just like the serpent deceived Eve in the garden, I believe that Northam has a great deal of Virginians deceived — that he’s doing a good job and that he truly has their best interest at heart,” Virginia resident James Delong, who attended the Reopen Virginia rally last month, told Breitbart News.

“I don’t believe that at all. I believe he’s a tyrant. I believe President Trump said it best, you know, when he said ‘Liberate Virginia.’ Without liberty, we have nothing,” he added:

Matt Perdie

Virginia had 19,492 cases of the virus as of Monday, May 4, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

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