Gov. Ralph Northam said Virginia is not ready to fully reopen its economy the day after demonstrators protested outside of the State Capitol. for the governor to loosen restrictions enforced in response to the virus.
It also comes as the commonwealth Virginia reported the largest one day increase in cases so far.
During his briefing Friday on the state’s coronavirus response, Northam explained that guidelines provided by the federal government to reopen the country go along with Virginia’s plans to lift its restrictions on businesses during the pandemic.
“Yesterday, I was on the phone with President Trump to discuss the White House guidelines for how we as states move forward,” Northam said. “Those guidelines are consistent with everything we in Virginia have been doing and will continue to do a phased approach based on science and data.”
The guidelines set by the White House on Thursday require that states have strong testing and declining infections for 14 days. Northam said Friday that Virginia is not there yet.
“We have not met that criteria,” the governor explained. “We’re still seeing more cases each day, not fewer. So we are not there yet. In fact, we saw 600 new cases today, an increase of about 8 percent.”
Virginia is the only state to have enacted a mandatory stay at home order into June. New York, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States, had originally enacted their order through April 30, before recently extending it to May 15.