In N.Va., Ar­ling­ton County says it’s not yet ready to re­open

Board de­vel­op­ing time frame that’s longer than rest of state

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - FRONT PAGE -

AR­LING­TON — At least one North­ern Vir­ginia county says it is not yet ready to move ahead with plans to re­open the econ­omy in the face of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The Ar­ling­ton County Board is­sued a state­ment Fri­day night say­ing it is work­ing with the gov­er­nor’s of­fice and other North­ern Vir­ginia ju­ris­dic­tions to de­velop a sep­a­rate, ex­tended time frame for re­open­ing from the rest of the state.

On Fri­day, Gov. Ralph Northam an­nounced plans for an ex­tremely lim­ited first phase of re­open­ing busi­nesses with a ten­ta­tive start date of May 15. But he said North­ern Vir­ginia may be able to opt out if it doesn’t feel ready.

The Ar­ling­ton board said Fri­day night that hos­pi­tal­iza­tions con­tinue to rise in North­ern Vir­ginia, and that the re­gion ac­counts for a dis­pro­por­tion­ate share of COVID-19 cases. As a re­sult, the board said that “for our re­gion as well as Ar­ling­ton, specif­i­cally, the most re­spon­si­ble path for­ward is main­tain­ing our cur­rent op­er­at­ing sta­tus” un­til data shows the virus is more clearly on de­cline.

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