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McKay: Collaboration Needed With D.C., Maryland on Reopening Dates

Northern Virginia officials stressed the importance of working together on their reopening plans during Gov. Ralph Northam’s press conference today.

Yesterday, Northam announced that he was pushing the reopening deadline for Northern Virginia localities to May 29.

Today Northam said that he is “comfortable” having the first reopening phase begin on Friday (May 15) for the rest of the state.

Jeff McKay, Fairfax County’s chairman, said that coordination with D.C. and Maryland leaders is key to determine when to reopen the D.C. area, which he called “one cohesive region.”

“It’s important that there not be huge variations in the roll-out of phases as we move forward so that we don’t unnecessarily confuse our business owners, confuse our residents and confuse our house of worships,” McKay said. “This virus does not know jurisdictional boundaries.”

Officials for Arlington and Loudoun counties along with the mayors of Alexandria and Falls Church also spoke at the press conference.

Libby Garvey, the chair for Arlington County, said that the Northern Virginia region is looking to meet the following criteria before reopening:

  • a downward trend of positive test results and hospitalizations for 14 days
  • sufficient hospital beds and intensive care unit capacity
  • enough personal protection equipment
  • increased testing and tracing

“The most responsible path forward for us is to maintain our current operating status until the phase 1 criteria laid out by the governor are met by Northern Virginia

Northam said that he has not heard about a desire to delay the first reopening phase from other regions in Virginia.

Image via Gov. Ralph Northam/Facebook

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