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McKay Urges People to Stay Home as Governor Looks to Ease Business Restrictions

With Virginia businesses poised to have fewer restrictions in mid-May, Fairfax County’s top official is urging people to stay home to save lives.

Yesterday, Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled a three-phase plan to roll back restrictions on businesses possibly starting on May 15 — after extending the closure of non-essential businesses through May 14.

Meanwhile, his stay-at-home order, which is in effect until June 10, would become a “safer at home” recommendation, according to his presentation.

Jeff McKay, the chairman for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is weighing in on the governor’s proposal and calling on people to continue to stay home.

“A path forward is necessary, but public health and saving lives are our biggest priorities,” he said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “The first phase, however, doesn’t really change how we will operate.”

Fairfax County continues to have the highest reported number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths due to the illness in the state. As of today, the county has at least 4,834 cases and 201 deaths, according to the state’s health department.

McKay noted that Northam included a variety of data, including the number of daily positive test results and hospital bed capacity, when explaining the rationale behind the plan.

Both in the statement and a letter to county residents last night, McKay urged county residents to stay home, pointing to Fairfax County’s continued rise in COVID-19 cases.

“We are in the exponential growth period of our epidemic curve and will see more cases and deaths in the coming weeks,” the letter said. “I encourage you to not change what you are doing. We can’t see our friends and go to concerts yet, that’s the reality.”

State health officials recently said that social distancing has already prevented nearly 36,600 cases in Fairfax County — and an estimated 134,000 cases by June 10.

McKay’s full statement to Tysons Reporter:

It’s good to see that Governor Northam is establishing data- and science-driven metrics in his decision to gradually ease restrictions in Virginia. A path forward is necessary, but public health and saving lives are our biggest priorities. The first phase, however, doesn’t really change how we will operate. Just because certain parts of the economy will re-open, doesn’t mean that you have to or should leave the house. As Governor Northam said, it will [be] safer-to-stay home. I will continue to encourage county residents to do so because our case numbers continue to rise exponentially. It is my hope that we start seeing less cases soon, but we aren’t out of the woods just yet.

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