Virginia extends closure of non-essential businesses another week

Monday marks the second time the governor has extended Executive Order 53

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam announced during his Monday news conference that non-essential business will not reopen on Friday.

Originally, Executive Order 53 was scheduled to expire are 11:59 p.m. on April 23; however, on April 15, the governor extended that two weeks to 11:59 p.m. on May 7.

Now the order has been extended to May 14 at 11:59 p.m.

It’s a tough blow for hair stylists and salon owners. Penny Kerr of Corporate Image Barbershop and Melanie Cassell of Headquarters Barber Company said they have not received any government aid money.

They both had customers scheduled on the books that they now have to canceled, too.

“If they’re going to make it to where i can’t make my own money, then they need to support us. I mean they’ve put all these different factors in place, but as far as money goes we still haven’t gotten anything and it’s making it really hard to continue to follow the rules," Cassell said.

When stylists eventually can re-open, they’ll also need to follow stricter safety guidelines.

“I’ve already started buying up masks and stuff like that so I’m already getting supplies so that shouldn’t be a problem," Kerr said. "The extra week closed is) not going to kill me but it would be reassuring for sure if we’d get stimulus check or something that I’ve applied for.”

Northam said Monday he does expect Virginia to enter Phase 1 sometime next week. It’s expected that this phase will last 2-4 weeks, or longer.

Here’s a breakdown of how he described Phase 1:

  • No gatherings of more than 10 individuals
  • Continued social distancing
  • Continued teleworking
  • Face coverings recommended in public
  • Easing limits on business and faith communities

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

On Monday, Virginia reported a total of 19,492 cases.

[What’s open right now? A list of what’s ‘essential’ vs. ‘non-essential’]

During Friday’s update, Northam announced that he would present new guidelines for the state’s eventual reopening.

Executive Order 55, Virginia’s stay-at-home order, remains in effect until June 10.

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