Virginia will not enter Phase 3 on Friday

Governor Northam announced the news on Tuesday

Reopening Virginia (WSLS 10)

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam just announced Virginia will not enter Phase 3 during this week.

The governor said he is still monitoring the data and wants more time to analyze before announcing a date to shift from Phase 2 to Phase 3.

He did say that he would announce more details about what Phase 3 will look like in Virginia during his 2 p.m. coronavirus update on Thursday.

Northam also announced on Tuesday that he’s introducing legislation that would make Juneteenth a state holiday in Virginia.

As of Tuesday, there are 55,331 coronavirus cases in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Across the state, 1,570 people have died.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]

On Wednesday, House GOP Leader Todd Gilbert issued a statement against the governor’s decision to delay Phase 3:

“When Governor Northam laid out the criteria for reopening Virginia’s economy, he said the process would be led by science, data, and testing. Yet after two additional weeks of falling case numbers and a continual drop in the percentage positive of tests, Governor Northam called an audible yesterday and said Phase 3 could not begin this week.

Let us be clear, the Governor is once again walking back his own criteria. Tens of thousands of Virginians have lost their jobs, and unemployment spiked to 10 percent. If Governor Northam genuinely wants ‘science, data, and testing’ to drive our reopening, he should allow Phase 3 to proceed.”