Governor Northam Announces Phase One Guidelines to Slowly Ease Public Health Restrictions. Phase One will begin no sooner than Friday, May 15.

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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order Sixty-One and presented a detailed framework for the first phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The Phase One guidelines will be implemented when the data meets the public health criteria outlined by the Commonwealth. The new executive order modifies public health guidance in Executive Order Fifty-Three and Executive Order Fifty-Five and establishes guidelines for Phase One.

The Governor’s phased approach is grounded in science and data and includes mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus through enhanced safety practices. The plan allows localities to consider delaying implementation of Phase One guidelines based on local conditions.

“I am proud of the millions of Virginians who have stayed home and helped to flatten the curve, but our work is not done,” said Governor Northam. . . .

Phase One guidelines for specific sectors are available here or at

View the graphs and slides from the Governor’s presentation here.


City Council Decides to Move Forward on Hearing Planning Items Using Online and In-Person Social Distancing Practices.

Hello Shore Drive Residents,

I pray you are all doing well during these unprecedented times.  Stay safe and stay healthy.

As City Council has been progressing with how they plan to continue public hearings during these trying times, the SDCC has asked Council to specifically defer all Planning Items that have opposition until normal reviews can be safely implemented.

Based on the May 5th Council hearing, video review of the meeting can be seen here, it appears Council is set to move forward with hearing all Planning Items even if they are highly opposed such as Westminster-Canterbury’s 22 story high rise Assisted Living Facility.  Council has suggested to hold highly contested items such as Westmister-Canterbury in larger spaces like the Convention Center to allow for 6 foot social distancing requirements.  Specific details are still being determined by Council, so please continue to follow our website posts to stay up to date on how and when these Planning Items will be heard.



Emails asking City Council to defer any Planning Item that has opposition.


Email 1:

Dear Mayor Dyer and Council Members,

I am sending this email again in regards to your review of hearing Planning Items during the State’s “Shelter in Place” by utilizing virtual meetings.

I would ask that no Planning items be heard unless failure to do so would result in irrevocable harm or have a direct impact on the pandemic emergency.

If you decide to start hearing general Planning items, then I would recommend you only hear items that have no opposition so you can vote on them by consent. If an item has any opposition, then it should be deferred until normal in person hearings can be resumed.

Thank you for this consideration,

Todd Solomon



Email 2:

Dear Mayor Dyer and Council Members,

I commend you all for working towards a method to allow for remote participation during various public meetings. Using technology to help maintain social distancing during these close quarter and sometimes large attendance gatherings is the right thing to do.

However, I am confused why the “Resolution to suspend certain portions of the City Council Speaker Policy” doesn’t include the suspension of Planning Agenda Items (Section 2.1) along with the recommendation to suspend Regular Agenda (Section 2.2) and Non-Agenda/Open-mic (Section 2.3) Items. Already, Planning Items from March and April are being deferred and I can’t think of any possible Planning Items directly related to the Covid19 crisis or ones where failure to act would result in irrevocable public harm.

With the Governor’s “Shelter in Place” decree effective until June 10th, wouldn’t the safest and smartest action be to also suspend Planning Items from City Council agendas during this emergency period?

If for some overarching legitimate reason the Planning Items have to remain, then I suggest that Planning Items with any opposition be automatically deferred as long as this emergency policy is in place. This would still allow unopposed items to be approved by consent. Deferring opposed items would minimize a resident’s health risk of attending Council meetings in person and should also make remote virtual meetings easier to manage since there will be less online speakers.

Thank you for your consideration to this request,

Todd Solomon



Learn more at about Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients donating:

In coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Red Cross is seeking people who are fully recovered from the new coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients.

You can also learn more about how to DONATE BLOOD, POWER RED, PLASMA or PLATELETS here:

To support social distancing, appointments are now required. With thousands of blood drives cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working hard to open new donation sites. If you don’t see available appointments near you in the near future, please search 7-10 days out. The need for blood is constant – patients need your help.

Governor Outlines Phased Plan to Safely, Gradually Ease Restrictions

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May 4, 2020—Governor Ralph Northam outlined a three-phase plan to ease restrictions on businesses and gatherings, when health data supports doing so.

Governor Northam said he will extend key provisions of Executive Order 53, which places restrictions on businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people, at least through next Thursday, May 14, at midnight. The Northam administration will continue to monitor health data to ensure that trends of positive cases are going downward, that hospital capacity remains steady, that testing is increased, and that hospitals and medical facilities have necessary supplies of PPE. For more information on key metrics, please see here.

Phase I of easing restrictions would continue social distancing, teleworking, recommendations that people wear face coverings in public, and the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people. It would ease some limits on business and faith communities, and would transition the stay at home directive to a “safer at home” guideline, especially for those in vulnerable populations.

It is expected that Phase I would last two to four weeks, as would the two subsequent phases, depending on health metrics.

More specific guidance on each phase will be available in the coming days. Slides from the Governor’s briefing are available here.

Accurate, reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website.

Click to view slides from press conference.


View DATA BRIEFING MAY 4 2020 here.