Virginia Gov. Northam warns he may roll back reopening if COVID-19 numbers don't improve

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has a warning for Virginians.

He tweeted Saturday that he will be watching public health data as COVID-19 cases increase in the Commonwealth.

“If the numbers don’t come down, we may have to take additional steps to blunt the spread of this virus,” Northam said.

Virginia entered Phase Three of reopening on July 1. The Virginia Department of Health reported 83,609 total positive coronavirus tests throughout the state Saturday.

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That's 1,245 more cases since Friday. 

“Moving backwards would not be a great thing for us,” said Dave Nicholas, managing partner of Alexandria Restaurant Partners.

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Nicholas said that if the roll back does happen, the move could impact an already hurting bottom line for several area restaurants and businesses.

“We’re not in a wonderful situation right now,” Nicholas said. “Going back in time and then shutting down again or more restrictions would make it really hard and expensive.”

Some diners told FOX 5 that while they understand the point of view of local businesses and restaurants, health and safety comes first. 

“I would say if they have to close the restaurants again, I hope it doesn’t happen but if it happens then that’s perfectly fine,” said Daoud Meerzaman.

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“Because for what it’s worth, it’s a temporary set back but it is of critical importance to really take control of the situation.”

“It’s a little bit unfair because these businesses are struggling,” said Sonny Etebar.

The governor closed out Saturday afternoon’s tweet by saying, “mask up and be safe.”

“If we don’t listen then you pay for it,” said Marcia Flores.

“So if we listen and wear our mask we will be out and about, but if we don’t listen we will be stuck in the house.”