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Stay cautious for protection

 

Friday marked the first phase of “reopening” Virginia after nearly two months of a stay-at-home order imposed by Gov. Ralph Northam.

But make no mistake — the virus is still a very real threat in our community. On Friday, Suffolk alone reported 34 new cases of the virus after five days of seeing only single-digit increases. The Western Tidewater Health District, of course, wouldn’t say why.

So as you go about your business in the next few weeks, we urge you to be careful. This cautious phase is not a free-for-all. It does not mean we’ve beat the virus. And there could be another spike of illness on the horizon if we’re not careful.

Please continue to stay home if you don’t have to be out, wear a mask in public, and keep your distance from others. The health of your community depends on it.

Here is the list of what is allowed under Phase One. Teleworking and the use of face coverings in public remain strongly encouraged. Please note that even businesses that can open or provide extra services may choose not to for a variety of reasons, so please call ahead. And be nice.

Non-essential retail: Open with 50 percent capacity

Restaurants and beverage services: Takeout and delivery; outdoor seating at 50 percent capacity

Entertainment and public amusement: Still closed

Fitness and exercise: Still closed, but may hold outdoor fitness classes

Beaches: Still allowing exercise and fishing only

Gatherings: Still a 10-person limit

Childcare: Still open for working families

Places of worship: Indoor services at 50 percent capacity; drive-in and online still encouraged

Personal grooming: By appointment only

Private campgrounds: Open

Overnight summer camps: Still closed

State parks: Day use only; overnight in phases

Schools: Still closed