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County News & Press Releases

Posted on: May 12, 2020

Message to Local Businesses on Phase One of Governor's Forward Virginia Plan

The first phase of “Forward Virginia,” Governor Northam’s plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions, while containing the spread of COVID-19, will be implemented when the data meets the public health criteria outlined late last month, but will begin NO EARLIER THAN FRIDAY, MAY 15th. Under Phase One, all counties (with the exception of specific Northern Virginia jurisdictions) will move to a “Safer at Home” strategy, which continues the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people and maintains recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and wearing face coverings.

Here in Orange County, we want to ensure the safety of our businesses, their customers, and all our citizens. The decision to open on or after May 15th remains at the discretion of the business owner.

Ensuring the health of all Orange County citizens and the viability of our businesses is the central focus of this consolidated effort. More information on the “Forward Virginia” Phase One guidelines for specific sectors is available here or at

It is important to note that entertainment and public amusement venues will remain closed. Beaches (both seaside and lakefront) will continue to be open only for exercise and fishing. Childcare centers remain open for children of working families and must follow appropriate guidelines. For COVID-19 childcare updates and resources visit:

To learn more about other COVID-19 resources for businesses, visit

Contact the Orange County Office of Economic Development with questions at (540) 672-1238.

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