Virginia moves into Phase 3 reopening

“We’ve been very careful the entire time, including using masks and gloves, physical barriers like plexiglass around all our points where customers may browse near us,” Craig Smith said. (Photo courtesy Craig Smith)

While stores like Twins Ace Hardware in Fairfax may now go to full capacity, individuals must maintain at least 6 feet of space for social distancing during Phase Three reopening. (Photo courtesy Craig Smith)

Craig Smith, co-owner of Twins Ace Hardware in Fairfax, Virginia, said of Phase Three reopening: “For our particular business, I would say it is business as usual.” (Photo courtesy Craig Smith)

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Virginia is now in Phase Three of reopening from the coronavirus lockdown, which increases capacities inside stores and restaurants but still requires social distancing of at least 6 feet.

For Craig Smith, co-owner of Twins Ace Hardware in Fairfax, Virginia, that means “business as usual,” he said.

Hardware stores, classified as essential businesses in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., have remained open since the pandemic began in March. But there’s evidence all around the popular local hardware store that things have changed.

“We’ve been very careful the entire time, including using masks and gloves, physical barriers like plexiglass around all our points where customers may browse near us,” Smith said.

The hardware store is among the Virginia retail stores and restaurants that had been limiting the number of patrons to 50% capacity during Phase Two. While stores may now increase to full capacity, individuals must maintain at least 6 feet of space for social distancing.

Under Virginia’s Phase Three reopening, residents are reminded that they are still “safer at home.” And the state continues to recommend telework as an important means of limiting coronavirus inspections.

Meanwhile, at Capital One headquarters in McLean, Virginia, housed in the region’s tallest building and employing nearly 49,000, operations continue with most staff working remotely.

Capital One announced in May that its non-essential personnel would be working remotely until at least Labor Day.

The financial corporation also said principles it’s using when considering any changes to remote work operations include prioritizing “the physical and psychological well-being of our associates, customers, and communities,” according to Capital One public relations director Sie Soheili.

At the hardware store, Smith said the pandemic has brought numerous shortages, including plexiglass, and notable shortages of items that involve outdoor activity.

“From grills to patio furniture to any gardening item, there’s simply not enough to go around. I’ve never seen demand for these products [so high]; been in this business almost 20 years, never even close,” Smith said.

As Virginia proceeds through Phase Three reopening, many businesses, including shops and restaurants, have adapted to the pandemic with new precautions and enterprises.

“We don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of operational changes for quite a while in terms of offering this curbside pickup, wearing masks regularly, keeping these plexiglass barriers in — I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Smith.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


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