Gov Ralph Northam confirms phase 2 reopening for Northern Virginia Friday, discusses upcoming school year

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam confirmed on Tuesday that Northern Virginia will join the rest of the state in phase 2 of the state’s reopening process on Friday, and also took time to discuss what the 2020-2021 school year will look like.

Northern Virginia – along with D.C.’s suburban counties in Maryland – was initially delayed from easing the restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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The state and the region are trying to grapple the economic hardships prompted by the months-long shutdown.

Virginia’s phased recovery plan is an effort to gradually re-establish its once bustling economy.

Some of the features of phase two include:

- Restaurants will be able to offer indoor seating at 50 percent capacity

- Gyms and fitness centers will be able to offer indoor classes with 30 percent capacity

- Entertainment venues can open with some restrictions

- Gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted

- Click here to read more about phase two of the reopening process

- State guidelines for reopening can be read by clicking here    

The governor also vowed that schools will reopen for the next school year, but with numerous guidelines in place.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Virginia closes non-essential businesses; schools for rest of academic year due to coronavirus

Most school districts in the state are already in phase two of that process, and that includes in-person education for students in preschool through third grade, as well as students who are learning English and students with disabilities.

He explained that phase three will shift to in-person instruction for all students, but with significant restrictions that may include staggered schedules and changes to the way students move throughout the building.

MORE COVERAGE: Virginia phase 2 recovery coming Friday; Northern Virginia will remain in phase 1

Face coverings would mandatatory whenever possible, and students would receive daily health screenings.

In addition, social distancing would be implemented in both classrooms and on school buses.

The governor noted that a detailed breakdown of what Virginia schools will look like will be posted online on Tuesday.