Virginia Governor Says, 'Just Stay Home'; Dr. Fauci Says, 'Go Out'

By Susan Jones | May 22, 2020 | 8:55am EDT
A jogger on the Mt. Vernon Trail in Northern Virginia, with a view of Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
A jogger on the Mt. Vernon Trail in Northern Virginia, with a view of Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

( - At the traditional start of the summer season, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has some advice for his constituents in the northern part of the commonwealth: "Just stay home."

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, who lives in the Washington area, said he plans to "go out for nice walks and hikes over Memorial Day," and he's encouraging others to do the same, with safety precautions in place.

Although Northam has allowed some parts of the commonwealth to begin a "phase one" reopening, the Washington, D.C., suburbs are still mostly closed until May 28.

"We did have a high number of positive tests today," Northam told PBS's Judy Woodruff on Thursday. "The great majority of them are up in Northern Virginia. So, we're monitoring that very closely, and, again, we're encouraging people in the Northern Virginia area to just stay home until these numbers go down a bit."

Woodruff asked the governor, a physician, "what could happen" as people in Northern Virginia head to other parts of the state for the long holiday weekend:

"Well, we're monitoring that very closely," Northam said.

And we have encouraged individuals that live in Northern Virginia to please stay home. We have had outbreaks in other parts of the state, as you know, Judy. Over on the Eastern Shore...we have had outbreaks at our meat processing plants. Nursing homes have been affected by this.

So, this virus doesn't know boundaries of counties and states. And we all have to just really remain vigilant, and keep our hygiene, the washing of our hands, wearing face protection, and keep that social distancing.

We know that those things work. And Virginians overall have been very good about following those guidelines.

While Northam tells Northern Virginians to just stay home, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of President Trump's coronavirus task force, told CNN's Anderson Cooper what he plans to do on the Memorial Day weekend:

 You know, Anderson, it depends on where you are, as I keep getting back to that theme. It depends on the dynamics of the outbreak where you are.

But wherever you are, I mean, Memorial Day, it's a very important holiday. Hopefully, the sun will be out. We will be having people who want to get out there and get fresh air. You can do that.

We're not telling people to just lock in, unless you're in a situation where you have a major outbreak going on, where -- we don't have too much of that right now in the country. Go out, wear a mask, stay six feet away from anyone, so you have the physical distancing, and go out.

Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing, as long as you're not in a crowd, and you're not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus. And that's what a mask is for, and that's with the physical distance.

I plan to go out for nice walks and hikes over Memorial Day. And I'm going to do it with care, with a mask on.

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