Virginia Sheriff Scott Jenkins issued the following statement on Facebook May 12th.
“Heads of law-enforcement agencies in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District were contacted today by the district health director, Dr. Wade Kartchner. The purpose was to request assistance on enforcement of Governor Northam‘s Executive Order 61.
My response to that request is that we will not trample the constitutional freedoms of our citizens to enforce an edict of the Governor. I do not speak for any of the other jurisdictions in the health district.”
-Sheriff Scott Jenkins
Per DailyWire, a number of cities and counties making up the “Northern Virginia Region” requested that Northam not move forward with reopening their economies and lifting strict lockdown orders off of hundreds of businesses. Northam assented, leaving Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties under “Phase Zero” of the reopening strategy.
Northam’s new order, Executive Order 61, adjusts the reopening dates for the Northern Virginia Area and leaves residents under strict social distancing rules that prohibit movement outside their homes except for state-approved activities, such as exercise, purchasing groceries, or volunteering.
Businesses such as gyms and movie theaters must remain closed while restaurants and breweries must only operate on a take-out/delivery basis.
“The Northern Virginia Region is substantially higher than the rest of the Commonwealth in percentage of positive tests for COVID-19. The Northern Virginia Region has about a 25% positivity rate, while the rest of the Commonwealth is closer to 10%. Further, in the last 24 hours, the Northern Virginia Region reported over 700 cases, while the rest of the Commonwealth reported approximately 270. On any given day, 70% of the Commonwealth’s positive cases are attributable to the Northern Virginia Region,” order 61 says.