You have permission to edit this article.
special report

BREAKING: Northern Virginia leaders ask Northam to delay region's reopening

  • Updated
  • 6
coronavirus generic

Northern Virginia’s chief elected officials are urging Gov. Ralph Northam to put the brakes on reopening closed businesses in the state’s five largest localities, saying the metrics of the state’s reopening plan have not been met in Virginia’s most populous region.

The elected officials, who include Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler, sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam, Saturday outlining their concerns.

The letter said the leaders support Northam’s “Forward Virginia” reopening plan in general but note Northern Virginia is not yet ready to move with the rest of the state.

“We eagerly wish to rebuild our economy and help our residents recover,” wrote Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, who signed the letter along with Wheeler and board of supervisors chairs of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties. 

“It is only through our regional achievement of these milestones that we will be positioned to avoid a more damaging return to business closures later in the summer.”

In a joint press release, the localities’ leaders said that although the metrics appear likely to be met statewide by Friday, May 15, “this does not appear to be the case for Northern Virginia.”

Northern Virginia region comprises the 2.5 million residents of the city of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William and represents nearly a third of the population of Virginia and half of the state’s COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the press release said.

The Forward Virginia plan requires the following metrics be met before the first phase of reopening can occur statewide: a downward trend of positive test results over a period of 14 days; a downward trend of hospitalizations over a period of 14 days; sufficient hospital beds and intensive care capacity; increasing and sustainable supply of personal protective equipment such as masks, respirators, gloves and gowns; and increased testing and tracing. 

According to an analysis by the region’s public health directors, all five metrics for Northern Virginia are either unmet or cannot be determined based on currently available data.

“Regardless of the timeline for reopening, it is critical that everyone continue to vigilantly practice the actions proven to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” the press release adds.

These include staying home as much as possible and especially when sick; frequent hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly; staying at least 6 feet apart from other people when outside the home; and wearing a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth when it is essential to be in public and physical distancing practices are difficult to maintain.

This is a developing story. Stay with for updates

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Prince William community has proven resilient. The Prince William Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --


We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Prince William Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.


Recommended for you

Recommended for you

(6) comments


Our elected officials are simply over their heads...these times are too deep for them and they are simply casting about lost in the wilderness.

If someone is scared and wants to stay home hunkered down stay home..BUT you should not lay your minority opinions on the majority.

Look, most conservatives FAILED to vote last time and thus we got what we deserved (I did vote)

Hopefully the local RNC will have professionals at the helm and not good old boys seeking to pad their resume.

All is not lost for me though. I have already gone on line and made both hair cut and dinner reservations in Warranton and if those go well I will.simply spend my PWC cash in another county...its all me as our leaders cant stop me from driving.


If you come back with the virus we will thank you and Winnie the Pooh for sharing his wonderful gift


These people MAY be our leaders FOR NOW but we will remember their lack of leadership on election day! It is time to open up Virginia and stop scaremongering!


[censored] These people don't represent the feelings of their constituents and we will remember their lack of leadership on election day! OPEN UP VIRGINIA!


actually they do represent the feelings of many constituents.


Thank you, yes many of us are cautious about spreading the disease to others. It is a shame this is become so political. We can fix the economy, we can’t bring back the dead.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Page Title

The future of Prince William Times now depends on community support. Your donation will help us continue to improve our journalism through in-depth local news coverage and expanded reader engagement.

Keeping you connected to the Community. Find or Submit your local event here..

Sign Up For Newsletters