The Weekly Wrap Up: COVID-19 news briefing, May 21


Fairfax County’s Delegate Ken Plum, Image via Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Helen Ehrlich, News Editor

This is the “Weekly Wrap Up,” the Sentinel’s weekly news briefing  on everything happening in Virginia and Fairfax County regarding the Coronavirus. 


  • The rest of Virginia began phase one of a slow reopening process on Friday, May 15, while Northern Virginia (NoVA) remained on lockdown, due to a high number of COVID-19 cases. The state has not released guidelines for phase two.


  • Northern Virginia plans to begin reopening NoVA on May 28, but Governor Northam has said that he will put this off if it is necessary for the health of the public, saying, “This is about safety.”
Image via Matt McClain/The Washington Pos
  • Washington DC plans to begin reopening on May 29, so long as there are no new spikes in cases. The city has seen a decline in cases over the past two weeks.


  • Virginia has 32,145 confirmed cases as of Thursday, May 21, 2020. Virginia has admitted fewer people to hospitals over the past week, as there has also been an average 8-person drop of people in intensive care units (ICUs). The curve has technically flattened in Virginia, but this progress remains fragile.


A salon reopened in Southern Virginia, image via Mike Still/Kingsport Times News
  • Virginia Beach reopens on Friday, May 22 for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. Exercise on the beaches was never prohibited. The state still asks that six feet of distance between swimmers is maintained. They mandate that areas like parking garages and lots are kept at only 50% occupancy. They also ask that patrons remember the following rules: 
    • “No groups of more than 10 people
    • No speakers
    • No large coolers
    • No alcohol
    • No tents OR groups of umbrellas
    • No group sports (volleyball, football, Frisbee, etc.”
  • Ocean City Maryland and New Jersey both raised eyebrows with the masses that took to their beaches and boardwalks, becoming a signal to other beach states of what measures need to be taken to avoid a spike in cases.
Ocean City Maryland, image via Todd Dudek/USA Today