Coronavirus updates: Virginia to enter Phase One of reopening; Community testing in Charles City; Prince George County government to remain closed


This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Here’s the latest on the coronavirus pandemic for May 13, 2020:

The Virginia Department of Health reported 26,746 cases of COVID-19 — 25,431 confirmed and 1,315 probable — Wednesday.

More than 180,000 Virginians have been tested for the virus. The death toll is now at 927.

Virginia Hospitals and Healthcare Association reported that 3,554 people with the virus have been released from the hospital. The VDH and VHHA do not report recoveries.

Northam is allowing the state to enter Phase One of reopening

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced most of Virginia will enter ‘Phase One’ of reopening. ‘Phase One’ is part of a three-phase plan called “Forward Virginia.”

Gov. Northam has said May 15 is a tentative date for businesses to reopen with limitations. During Monday’s briefing he said he was confident he’ll stick to the plan.

On Tuesday, Northam excluded northern Virginia from ‘Phase One’ of the reopening plan by signing an executive order that allows localities to delay reopening by two weeks until May 29.

The delay is because NOVA continues to see higher case counts and hospitalizations than the rest of the state. Northam said NOVA’s positive test rate is 25 percent, compared to most other areas, which are trending closer to 10 percent.

5th GRTC employee tests positive for COVID-19

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — GRTC said on Wednesday a fifth employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The transit company said the employee, a bus operator, was tested and confirmed positive for the coronavirus Wednesday. The employee has been on paid leave since May 8. GRTC adds the bus operator currently has “mild symptoms.”

According to GRTC, the fifth confirmed case of COVID-19 may be related to a bus operator who tested positive for the virus after exhibiting asthma symptoms on May 7. That employee was re-tested for COVID-19 and was later diagnosed with the virus.

DMV reopening 11 centers for appointment-only visits

(WRIC) — Beginning Monday, May 18, Virginia DMV is reopening 11 customer service centers statewide for appointment-only visitation. Locations in Chesterfield and Richmond are two of the 11 service centers set to reopen.

The department adds that locations will open in phases though mid-summer.

Individual offices will reopen “once it has been prepared to provide adequate social distancing and clear plastic partitions have been installed on front counters creating a safe separation between customers and employees,” according to the department’s website.

Click here to view a full list of service centers sent to reopen.

Prince George County Government will remain closed until early June

Prince County Government Offices will remain closed to the public until June 7.

“The public will be allowed to attend Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings scheduled for May and June under local guidelines developed in accordance with the Governor’s executive orders,” the county said in a release.

Currently, Prince George County has 50 cases of COVID-19. For updates, click here.

Community Testing event in Charles City

The Chickahominy Health District will be holding a COVID-19 community testing event on Friday, May 15. This free drive-thu event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 8200 Lott Cary Road, Providence Forge, VA.

Charles City and New Kent residents are asked to call the CHD to be screened and pre-registered for the event at 804-365-3340.

Northam to finalize decision on Virginia’s reopening at 2 p.m.

Governor Ralph Northam is expected to officially announce this afternoon whether or not Virginia will enter ‘phase one’ of reopening. ‘Phase one’ is part of a three-phase plan called “Forward Virginia.”

Gov. Northam has said May 15 is a tentative date for businesses to reopen with limitations. During Monday’s briefing he said he was confident he’ll stick to the plan.

WATCH: Northam’s briefing at 2 p.m.

COVID-19 in Virginia

Here’s a breakdown of cases in our area:

Charles City County251
Chesterfield County1,13229
City of Colonial Heights827
City of Hopewell620
City of Petersburg842
City of Richmond88820
Goochland County895
Hanover County24419
Henrico County1,339114
New Kent County261
Powhatan County260
Information from the Virginia Department of Health

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