2 more local governments in Virginia to delay reopening

Richmond City Health District workers check in residents for COVID-19 testing at a site set up by the Virginia National Guard Tuesday May 5, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, VA. (AP) — Virginia’s capital city and a rural county on the Eastern Shore are opting out of beginning to reopen Friday. They say it is still too soon to ease restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ralph Northam granted requests to the city of Richmond and Accomack County on Thursday afternoon to delay a gradual reopening of some nonessential businesses just hours ahead of when those areas were set to start reopening.

Northam’s office said the two jurisdictions will “enter Phase One no earlier than midnight on Thursday, May 28.”

The Democratic governor is easing some restrictions in most of the state Friday.

He previously granted a two-week delay to several localities in Northern Virginia.

Northam has said repeatedly that Phase I regulations represent “a floor, not a ceiling” — a minimum, not a maximum — and that localities could ask to keep more regulations in place than other areas have.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report. 

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