Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam talks about how he was raised during an interview in the Governor's Mansion February 09, 2019 in Richmond, VA. He and Attorney General Mark R. Herring have admitted to using blackface in the past. And, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denies sexually assaulting two women. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
**FILE** Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he intends to proceed cautiously with a gradual reopening Friday of businesses across the state, though he expressed concern that the situation in the Northern Virginia region looks a bit different.

“They are just as anxious as the rest of us … to ease these restrictions and return to normal,” Northam said Monday at a news conference. “But they’re not there yet. As soon as they feel comfortable and we feel comfortable moving to Phase I, we’ll do that.”

The governor also announced that all public-facing Department of Motor Vehicles locations would remain closed at least another week, and that 9,801 COVID-19 tests have been recorded statewide in the last reporting period, close to the 10,000 daily goal that Virginia health officials have set.

Northam noted that while cases in the state have gone down slightly overall, Northern Virginia has seen an increase.

“That’s what we expect to see,” he said.

In the last 24-hour reporting period, more than 700 cases were recorded in Northern Virginia, compared to fewer than 300 in the rest of the commonwealth.

Meanwhile, reports state that it could be a year before the region’s Metro transit system is fully back to speed.

Currently, Metro trains, for the most part, are arriving about every 20 minutes, with just a limited amount of service due to return over the next three months.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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