Stay-At-Home (EO 55 & 62) vs Safer-At-Home (EO 61) Orders
There has been a lot of change since Friday regarding whether businesses can start opening this Friday, May 15th, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and Guidelines. Everyone in Lovettsville would love for our businesses to open (in a safe and organized manner). Unfortunately, the Town Council and Mayor do not have the authority to open or close the businesses related to COVID-19. This power is with the Governor and his Executive Order (EO) 55, which implemented Stay-At-Home and closing non-essential businesses. This was originally done to ensure that we would not overwhelm our medical facilities and protect the residents of the Commonwealth.
With the issuance of EO 61, businesses can open on May 15th, with additional health precautions. However, over the weekend, counties (in the Northern Virginia Region) requested the Governor delay Northern Virginia from starting the Safer-At-Home guidance in EO 61. Their decision was made based on guidance from each locality’s Health Director, and whether the Governor’s criteria to reduce protections was met. These criteria included:
- Downward trend of positive tests; over a period of 14 days;
- Downward trend of hospitalizations over a period of 14 days;
- Enough hospital beds and intensive care capacity;
- Increasing and sustainable supply of PPE; and
- Increased testing and tracing.
The Governor just released EO 62. EO 62 delays the Northern Virginia Region from relaxing the requirements of EO 55, at least until May 29th. This is to allow the Northern Virginia Region to finish out its peak of infection (expected to be last week), start to decrease the number of positive cases and hospitalizations, and follow the rest of the Commonwealth on meeting the requirements mentioned above.
We do not have information on the infections for the Town of Lovettsville, but the Virginia Department of Health has started releasing information by zip code. The 20180 zip code has been showing 5-6 cases since the granular reporting capabilities were initially implemented. This is good and means that 20180 has most likely peaked and hopefully we can expect a downturn on new infections.
This remains a difficult time for all Lovettsville residents and businesses. Know that the Town Council and Staff have been diligently working to find solutions that will support our business community in Lovettsville. Behind each business in Lovettsville, there is a business owner that lives locally, who employs local residents, and contributes to the vitality of our great Town. I encourage you all to continue to support your local businesses and to keep shopping local!
As always, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.
~ Mayor Nate