Virginia Gov confirms Friday phase 1 reopening for most of state, Northern Virginia delayed for 2 weeks

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam confirmed on Wednesday that most of the state will enter phase 1 of its reopening plan on Friday, but Northern Virginia will remain under the current restrictions until May 29 at least.

The most heavily populated region in the state, Northern Virginia has not seen the kind of COVID-19 data officials are seeing elsewhere to evaluate whether or not they can reopen.

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Leaders from a number of Northern Virginia jurisdictions – including Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties, as well as the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church – joined the news conference remotely.

They assured residents that while they are eager to enter phase 1 along with the rest of the state, they are trying to insure the health and safety of their residents.

RELATED: Gov Northam says when northern Virginia counties reopen they will do so collectively

The trend in Northern Virginia reflects that of the greater D.C. region – neither the District, nor suburban Maryland are seeing the kind of downward trend in cases that would make leaders confident in beginning the reopening process.

In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan – who is expected to reveal details about phase 1 of the state’s reopening today – is allowing jurisdictions including those in suburban D.C. more leeway in terms of the pace of the reopening process.

RELATED: Gov Northam says state will work with Northern Virginia counties wishing to reopen at a slower pace

“The whole DMV is united in reopening its economy, we want to do it as quickly and as safely as we can,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said.

On Monday, the governor noted that the trend of percent positive COVID-19 cases in Northern Virginia is at 25 percent – compared to 10 percent for the rest of the state.