Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced last week that Virginia—including Loudoun County and the rest of Northern Virginia—will move into the third phase of the state’s gradual reopening on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
The Loudoun County government continues to practice social distancing and other measures that help limit the spread of germs. Member of the public are encouraged to visit the county’s website to conduct business online and to view any impacts to in-person services prior to visiting a county facility.
In Phase Three, all Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) facilities, except Adult Day Centers, will be open with physical distancing and program restrictions or modifications in place.
In addition, the branches of the Loudoun County Public Library are also now open with physical distancing measures in place and some limitations on services.
Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” reopening plan is the next step in gradually easing public health restrictions that are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Northam indicated Virginia’s health metrics “continue to look good,” citing the downward trend in the percent of positive tests and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, sufficient hospital capacity and personal protection equipment (PPE), increasing testing capacity and the hiring by the Virginia Department of Health of at least 1,000 contact tracers.
“I urge everyone to continue taking steps to protect themselves and others, including wearing face coverings, staying 6 feet apart from others, staying home when sick and washing hands frequently,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “These infection control measures have helped get us to Phase Three, but we should not forget that the potential for exposure to COVID-19 is still here.”
While Phase Three of the plan lifts capacity limits on non-essential retail establishments as well as restaurants, breweries, wineries and other beverage services, physical distancing is still required, as are face coverings in most indoor spaces.
Highlights of Phase Three include:
- Increasing the number of people allowed to gather in groups of up to 250 people; the restrictions do not apply to people performing functions of their employment.
- Allowing restaurants, breweries, wineries, etc., to offer indoor service in accordance with a number of guidelines, including seating patrons six feet apart.
- Allowing brick and mortar retail stores and personal grooming businesses to operate with a number of guidelines, including physical distancing.
- Allowing fitness centers, gymnasiums, etc., to operate in accordance with a number of guidelines, including keeping patrons at least ten feet apart, following mandatory cleaning and disinfection practices and limiting the total number of attendees to 75% of the facility’s occupancy capacity.
- Allowing outdoor and indoor swimming pools to open at 75% capacity in accordance with a number of guidelines, including physical distancing.
- Allowing people to attend religious services in accordance with a number of guidelines, including seating attendees six feet apart (except for family members), and disinfecting frequently-contacted surfaces before and after religious services.
- Allowing entertainment venues, such as, bowling alleys, movie theaters, performing arts centers, museums, etc., to reopen at 50% of the facility’s occupancy capacity, up to 1,000 people.
- Allowing child care facilities to open.
- Allowing indoor and outdoor recreational sports to take place with ten feet of physical distance between all instructors, participants, and spectators, where practicable; and with some attendance limitations.
More information about Phase Three of Virginia’s plan, including mandatory requirements, best practices, and communication resources, is posted online in the Phase Three Guidelines for All Business Sectors (PDF).
“The safest place right now is still your home,” added Goodfriend. “I recommend that those who are most vulnerable, including older adults and anyone with an underlying health condition, remain extra cautious while in public.”
While Virginia is moving into Phase Three, Governor Northam’s Executive Order 63 (PDF), which requires the use of face coverings in most public indoor locations, remains in effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Loudoun was in Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan from May 29 - June 11, 2020 and entered Phase Two on June 12, 2020.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
- Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
- Opt in to receive text messages:
- English: Text LCCOVID19 to 888777
- Spanish: Text LCCOVIDESP to 88877
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.
# # #