Northern Virginia has reached four of six benchmark metrics required to begin reopening, health officials from five localities said Sunday in a letter to local leaders.
In the letter, health officials from Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties said the region has achieved a decrease in the percentage of positive tests over 14 days. Benchmarks for increased testing and a decrease in hospitalizations have also been recorded, according to the letter.
The letter comes as parts of Maryland have started to reopen, with D.C. planning to assess its own reopening metrics this week.
The Loudoun Times was the first to report on the latest progress toward the benchmarks.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Virginia Department of Health to provide the key metrics by the Northern Virginia region,” the letter says. “Based on our May 24 assessment, our region has met four of the six April 24 metrics for moving into Phase 1 at this time.”
The region hasn’t met the benchmark for increased contact tracing, but the letter notes the “infrastructure is currently being put into place, with sequential increased capacity anticipated in the coming weeks.”
It also hasn’t met the benchmark for personal protective equipment. While the health officials described PPE supply in Northern Virginia hospitals as “adequate,” they wrote, “PPE for outpatient facilities continues to be a challenge.”
Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order earlier this month that kept Northern Virginia in Phase 0 through May 28.
There was a spike in coronavirus cases reported Monday in Northern Virginia, but it’s been attributed to maintenance on the state Health Department’s website.
A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Health Department said that work on the system for reporting disease data resulted in a smaller number of new cases being reported on Sunday and a larger number of cases reported on Monday.
WTOP’s Dick Uliano and Valerie Bonk contributed to this report.
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