Politics

Northam Delays Reopening Northern Virginia

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that Northern Virginia will not open until at least May 29.

Northam signed an executive order Tuesday that extended mandated restrictions and closures of Northern Virginia businesses in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, according to WSLS

The Virginia governor initially floated the idea that Northern Virginia is “not there yet” and may need to delay reopening at a Monday press briefing where he noted he had been speaking with Northern Virginia leaders regarding reopening.

“They are just as anxious as the rest of us …to ease these restrictions and return to normal,” Northam said, adding, “As soon as they feel comfortable and we feel comfortable moving to Phase I, we’ll do that.” (RELATED: ‘Get Me Off Of House Arrest’: Pastors Call On Barr, DOJ To Protect Religious Liberty)

The governor’s comments come as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced a plan to slowly up metro services, but said that full service will not return until 2021.

The plan intends to keep passengers safe while social distancing by increasing service through three phases, the DCist reports. Reduced service hours will most likely continue for the rest of the year, and the metro system is asking the federal government and other businesses to work remotely and have flexible schedules in order to meet this phased reopening, the publication reports.

“Metro cannot do this alone,” General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said. “We need the support of the entire region, particularly from the workforce perspective, as we start to come out of this.”

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