Arlington and the rest of Northern Virginia are set to begin the first phase of the region’s reopening on Friday.
With coronavirus cases increasing steadily, but not exponentially, and hospitals having sufficient extra capacity, local health officials say localities can start reopening relatively safely. (Much of the rest of the Virginia started reopening on May 15. D.C. is also partially reopening this coming Friday.)
Wearing masks indoors in public spaces will be mandatory in Virginia starting Friday, with some exceptions, and businesses will only be partially reopening, with extra safety precautions. More from a county press release:
Highlights of the Governor’s Forward Virginia Phase 1 – Effective May 29
- Non-essential businesses can open at 50 percent capacity, with strict requirements.
- Take-out and curbside pickup for restaurants and beverage services can continue and outdoor seating will be allowed at 50 percent capacity (see more on this below).
- Gyms and fitness facilities can offer limited outdoor exercise options.
- Outdoor swimming pools may be open for lap swimming only, with one person per lane.
- Beauty and nail salons, barbershops and other personal grooming services can provide services by appointment only and must follow strict guidelines.
- Places of worship can open for drive-in services or services inside at 50 percent capacity.
- Spray parks, basketball courts, and racquetball courts must remain closed, as well as entertainment facilities such as movie theaters.
- Social gatherings of more than 10 people are still banned.
Some say reopenings will unnecessarily cause further disease and death. Others say the stay-at-home orders are no longer needed and are only causing more economic hardship. Still others are just happy to be able to get a haircut and spend some more time outside of the house.
In a word, how are you feeling about Arlington’s reopening?