Update on COVID-19 & Resources | May 18, 2020
Summer is almost here, and the weather is improving. Fortunately, so is the coronavirus situation around most of the Commonwealth.
As of this writing, the Commonwealth has entered “Phase One” of reopening, with the exception of Northern Virginia, the City of Richmond, and Accomack County. That means that some of the restrictions on ‘non-essential’ businesses have been lifted. You will find some of the highlights below:
● Gatherings of more than 10 people are still banned.
● Businesses that had been restricted to 10 people or fewer will be allowed to re-open with 50 percent of their rated capacity.
● Personal grooming businesses such as barbers and salons may open with strict social distancing, cleaning, and by appointment only.
● Restaurants that have outdoor seating may serve customers at 50 percent of their outdoor capacity.
● Churches may resume indoor services at 50 percent capacity.
● Gyms may open to provide outdoor classes only.
● Beaches remain closed for all activities except for exercise and fishing.
● Telework is still encouraged for all who are able to do so.
Our entire Republican team continues to work as hard as possible to get Virginians back to work, safely and efficiently. Earlier this month the Governor listened to our advice and allowed elective medical procedures to resume, helping to get some of our medical professionals who had been laid off back to work.
Important Additional Updates
● The deadline to pay any Virginia income tax owed is June 1. If you were unable to file your Virginia income taxes, there is an automatic 6-month extension.
● The Governor’s “stay at home” has been changed to a “safer at home order.” If you can, it’s better to stay home, especially for vulnerable people. But the order is no longer mandatory.
● The CDC recommends that Virginians wear some sort of fabric covering over their mouth and nose when out in public. If we all wear masks in public, this will help continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and get us all back to normal much earlier.
● I encourage you to go to this website — https://bit.ly/3bHnwvy -- for answers to the most frequently asked questions about what orders are currently in place for Virginia, including information on school closures and guidelines for businesses.
You can stay up to date with various health and safety measures being recommended by state officials at this link: https://bit.ly/2VUEGiz
Reminders about ongoing general closings and cancellations can be found below:
The Supreme Court of Virginia has allowed the judicial emergency to expire, and courts can begin hearings again on May 18th, if it is safe to do so. If you have business before a court, check with your attorney or the local court clerk to find out if it has been rescheduled.
Most DMC service centers remain closed to the public, although a few have been reopened by appointment only. Virginians with business before the DMV are encouraged to perform their transactions online.
The following centers will be open for appointments during the listed hours. Click here to make an appointment.
● Abingdon (25552 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA 24211-7466), 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
● Charlottesville (2055 Abbey Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911-3540), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● Chesterfield (610 Johnston Willis Drive, Richmond, VA 23236-3949), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● Fredericksburg (5700 Southpoint Centre Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA 22407-2601), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● Hampton (8109 Roanoke Avenue, Hampton, VA 23605-1637), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● Harrisonburg (3281 Peoples Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801-7600), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● Roanoke (5220 Valleypark Drive, Roanoke, VA 24019), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
● South Boston (2039 Hamilton Boulevard, South Boston, VA 24592-2141), 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
● Virginia Beach/Buckner (3551 Buckner Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23453-5101), 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Virginia State Police have also been instructed to not enforce the state’s vehicle inspection program through July 31. If your vehicle inspection is about to expire, you have an additional few months to drive without fear of a citation.
The State Corporation Commission (SCC) order remains in effect directing all publicly regulated utility companies to suspend disconnections. That order remains in effect through June 14th. Go to this link for more information: https://bit.ly/3cWvkd5
Restaurants with outdoor seating may now open their patios at 50% capacity, while those without outdoor seating remain open for takeout and delivery. New regulations from the ABC Board will be completed this week allowing for alcohol service outdoors at those locations that are now allowed to open.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know this is difficult, but we are moving forward. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, stay well, and we will bounce back stronger than ever before.
Delegate Terry Austin
19th House District