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City of Richmond to enter Phase Two of reopening plan on Friday, June 12th

Under Phase Two of Forward Virginia, eating and drinking establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, fitness centers may open indoor facilities at 30 percent capacity, and certain recreation and entertainment venues that do not rely on shared equipment may open with restrictions.

RVAHub Staff

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On Friday, June 12, the City of Richmond will move into Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan, Forward Virginia.

Under Phase Two of Forward Virginia, eating and drinking establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, fitness centers may open indoor facilities at 30 percent capacity, and certain recreation and entertainment venues that do not rely on shared equipment may open with restrictions.

“Given the data landscape, the governor’s requirement that all Virginians wear face coverings and my trust in the Richmond community to look out for each other, I’m comfortable with our city entering Phase Two of Forward Virginia,” said Mayor Stoney.

“However, we cannot forget that beating this disease for good will require avid community testing, contact tracing and stable isolation for COVID-19 positive patients,” he continued. “This is the biggest team project we’ve ever undertaken as a city, and it will continue to require compassion and cooperation from every one of us.”

Since mid-March, the City of Richmond has operated under various stages of closure while adopting basic practices that are proven to fight the spread of COVID-19: wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, sanitizing hands and spaces and intentionally protecting the most vulnerable individuals and communities.

The Richmond City Health District, alongside the City of Richmond, continues to provide testing opportunities, primary care support, mask distribution and supported isolations for those that need it.

Said Director of Richmond City and Henrico County Health Districts Dr. Danny Avula: “We know that our ability to reopen our economy, to enjoy social and faith-based gatherings, and to move forward from the most difficult early days of this pandemic depends on our continued practice of these same key prevention methods.”

“This week, as we look at local and regional trends in cases, hospitalization data, and continued reassuring reports on hospital capacity, I support Richmond’s advancement to Phase 2,” continued Dr. Avula. “However, our success in this phase will depend on everyone becoming familiar with the guidelines for how we can live, work, and play safely at this point, and sharing what they learn with their family, friends, and coworkers.”

The following is a list of guidelines all Richmonders should follow during Phase Two:

  • Continue to wear face masks.
  • Keep six feet of distance from anyone outside your household.
  • Avoid visits or social gatherings, especially with individuals who are at higher risk.
  • Continue to wash or sanitize your hands frequently, but especially after leaving a public place or before adjusting or removing your mask.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and call your primary care provider to discuss testing opportunities, or call the Richmond and Henrico COVID-19 hotline at 804-205-3501 to register for a free testing event. Testing opportunities for City of Richmond residents are listed at RVAStrong.org/testing.
  • Remember and remind others that public playgrounds, wading pools and other recreational spaces where physical distancing and avoidance of common surfaces would be impossible will remain closed through Phase Two.
  • Social gatherings are limited to 50 people or 50 percent capacity of the event space, whichever is less.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has determined the guidelines that businesses and individuals who patronize those businesses should abide by during Phase Two. The following information is a summary of the requirements the state has made of businesses who wish to open during Phase Two. Requirements and best practices are available online in full here.

The state requires all businesses serving the public to undertake rigorous sanitation practices and display extensive signage promoting the health and safety of patrons and employees.

The signage should clearly state that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days is permitted in the establishment. It should also include reminders of public health precautions, such as social distancing, isolating when sick and options for high-risk individuals.

A link to these guidelines, printable resources, opportunities for small businesses to receive support and other guidance are available on RVAStrong.org/reopeningguidance.

Restaurant and beverage services

Occupancy in the establishment is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy. Bar seating and congregate areas of the establishment must be closed.

Tables must be at least six feet apart to allow for adequate social distancing. If tables are immovable, then parties must be seated at least six feet apart.

All establishments should use single-use menus.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Restaurants in the City of Richmond who wish to expand outdoor seating on their own private property, such as a parking lot, should contact Chuck Davidson, Zoning Administrator at [email protected]. Those who wish to expand outdoor seating into the public right of way should apply for an encroachment permit. More guidance is available at RVAStrong.org/reopeningguidance.

Non-essential brick and mortar

Non-essential brick and mortar retailers must limit occupancy to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Retailers must also encourage and assist in customers keeping six feet of distance while shopping and standing in line.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Fitness and exercise facilities

Occupancy is limited to no more than 30 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Patrons should keep 10 feet of distance between each other. To facilitate this, business owners must place exercise equipment at least 10 feet apart.

Before allowing patrons to enter, fitness facility staff should screen them for symptoms of COVID-19, asking if they are experiencing a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, chills, a sore throat, or muscle aches unaffiliated with another health condition. Anyone experiencing symptoms should not be permitted to use the facility. The state notes that these screenings should be conducted in accordance with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.

Basketball and racquetball courts may be used as long as patrons maintain ten feet of social distance throughout use if they are not from the same household.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools

Swimming pools may be open only for lap swimming, diving, exercise, and instruction. Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features must be closed.

Lap swimmers and divers are to be held to the same standard of ten feet of distance as in exercise facilities.

Seating on pool decks must be at least ten feet apart.

As in exercise facilities, before allowing patrons to enter, pool staff should screen them for symptoms of COVID-19, asking if they are experiencing a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, chills, a sore throat, or muscle aches unaffiliated with another health condition. Anyone experiencing symptoms should not be permitted to use the pool. The state notes that these screenings should be conducted in accordance with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Personal care and personal grooming services

Service should still be offered by appointment only, with a maximum of two appointments occurring in one facility at a time.

Occupancy is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy.

Work stations must be at least six feet apart, and clients must wear face coverings during the entirety of the service.

Employers must maintain a list of the names and contact information for all clients, to include the date and time of the appointment, to aid in contact tracing efforts.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

Entertainment and public amusement

The following entertainment venues must still be closed in Phase Two: indoor theaters, indoor performing arts centers, indoor concert venues, indoor sports venues, horse racing facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, carnivals, arts and craft facilities, escape rooms, trampoline parks and anything not explicitly approved by the state.

Phase Two allows for outdoor performing arts venues, outdoor concert venues, outdoor movie theaters, drive-in entertainment, outdoor sports venues, museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos and public or private social clubs to open with restrictions.

Facilities that are permitted to and wish to open must create a guest flow plan that identifies potential areas of crowding and adjust layout inside and outside the facility accordingly.

Any on-site retail, food or drink services, or fitness facilities must abide by the state requirements specific to those classifications of the establishment.

Additional mandatory requirements for specific venue types are provided in this document.

Religious services

Occupancy is limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room in which services are conducted.

Individuals not from the same household must be seated six feet away from each other. An acceptable seating distance should be marked.

Nothing should be passed around the gathering, and any items used to distribute food or drink must be single-use and immediately discarded.

Places of worship are still encouraged to continue meeting virtually, if possible, to protect congregants.

Additional mandatory requirements are provided in this document.

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New orchid store set to bloom in West End this September

“Our West End clients have been asking us to open a store near them for years and plants are experiencing a surge in popularity right now because so many people are working from home,” the company said in a news release.

RVAHub Staff

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A local orchid grower is putting down roots in the West End due to customer demand.

Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc has announced it is opening a new orchid store in the West End in the Gaskins Place Shopping Center. The new space should be ready by September 1st.

The company, based in Powhatan, says the new location fills the need for Chadwick’s many West End clients and helps to meet the increased demand for plants in general. Chadwick’s existing store in the Museum District was recently renovated and will remain.

“Our West End clients have been asking us to open a store near them for years and plants are experiencing a surge in popularity right now because so many people are working from home,” the company said in a news release.

Chadwick & Son has 11 greenhouses in Powhatan and specializes in a service called ‘orchid boarding’ in which clients pay to have their plants taken care of. There are currently over 13,000 plants in production.

“Orchids, in various forms, have been in vogue for over a century – first as corsages, then as collector’s items, now as everyday houseplants,” a company representative concluded.

Chadwick & Son Orchids was founded in 1989 by Art Chadwick and his son, Arthur.

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Home Team Grill’s Glen Allen outpost rebranded as Twin Hickory Tavern

After 14 years in business in Glen Allen, local restaurant Home Team Grill has traded the sports moniker for one that shares the name of its community.

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After 14 years in business in Glen Allen, local restaurant Home Team Grill has traded the sports moniker for one that shares the name of its community. After some interior renovations and a revamp of the menu, owner Garland Taylor reopened the neighborhood restaurant as Twin Hickory Tavern.

The new restaurant has been totally renovated and features an expanded bar lineup with 20 beers on tap and a more upscale menu featuring appetizers like seared tuna, buffalo cauliflower, and chicken satay; sliders, a selection of tacos, and soups and salads; dinner entrees include burgers, premium sandwiches, and a shrimp bowl. See the full menu here.

Twin Hickory Tavern is located at 11351 Nuckols Road in the Twin Hickory Town Center and is open Monday – Friday from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM and 5:00 – 10:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday 5:00 – 10:00 PM.

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New six-story “cohousing” development planned for Arthur Ashe Boulevard

The six-story building would be built near Growlers to Go and Starbucks in Scott’s Addition.

RVAHub Staff

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From Richmond BizSense:

The cohousing trend is popping up again in Richmond, this time on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

D.C.-based Outlier Realty Capital is planning a six-story cohousing project at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. The site is adjacent to the Starbucks and Growlers To Go building, and formerly was home to McCauley’s Paint & Body shop.

Outlier is seeking a special-use permit for the project. The city’s Planning Commission is set to hear the matter at its July 20 meeting.Plans call for a 64,400-square-foot structure with 29 apartments totaling 148 bedrooms with shared kitchen and living areas. It would include 1,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor along with 30 parking spaces.

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