It has been 2 weeks since the last COVID-19 update from the Governor. When he last spoke, Virginia was facing a slight rise and potential threat for a spike in cases that has been seen in other parts of our country.

However, because of Virginia’s social distancing regulations as well as the efforts from Virginians all throughout our Commonwealth, we have been able to avoid a drastic spike. While cases have continued to slightly rise, the percent positivity remains low.

With that said, the Hampton Roads region has experienced a concerning rise in cases. To mitigate this, the Governor will issue an Executive Order specific to the Hampton Roads region. Beginning this Friday, Hampton Roads will have to follow certain stricter pandemic regulations. More information on this can be found below.

With this in mind, we need to continue to follow social distancing protocols. We will only get through this pandemic if we do this together.

In the meantime, please continue to check on our friends, neighbors and family. Just because we are physically separated from each other doesn’t mean we have to be emotionally separated.

We must also do a wellness check on one another, especially our most vulnerable.  Please remember, if you or someone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, or the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990

If there is anything that I can do to help or if you know someone that is in need of help, do not hesitate to reach out to our office at 804-698-1051 or via email at DelHayala@house.virginia.gov.

 

The Governor's Update

The full press conference can be watched here. Please note that the Governor will be giving these press conferences every Tuesday and Thursday (unless an urgent update requires the Governor to speak on an off press conference day), and they will take place at 2 pm. They will be broadcasted and archived on The Governor’s Facebook and VPM’s YouTube channel. Some of the highlights from today’s press conference are as followed:

  • There are now 72,443 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.

  • Virginia (including Northern Virginia) has still avoided the dramatic increase of cases seen in other parts of the country.

  • With that said, there is still a concerning rise seen in the Hampton Roads region that will be addressed.

  • The situation with the nursing homes in Virginia have improved greatly. A few weeks ago, nursing homes accounted for a third of cases. Today, just about 1% of individuals tested in nursing homes are positive.

    • Almost 3000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in nursing homes.

  • Over 12,000 people who have been hospitalized from COVID-19 have been discharged.

  • As a reminder, $50 million from the CARES Act has been allocated to assist Virginians who are facing rent/mortgage issues. Those who need help with rent or mortgage, they can visit this webpage.

  • Earlier today, the Governor and the senior health team met with Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to review what Virginia has done.

    • Dr. Birx supported Virginia's mitigation efforts.

  • The pandemic today is different than it was in March. Much of it is due to younger people being exposed, mainly in the Hampton Roads region.
    Total cases have been rising in Virginia after weeks of declining.

    • ​However the percent positivity has remained relatively low. The percent positivity in Northern Virginia is currently 5.7%, one of the lowest percent for the region throughout this pandemic.

  • Hampton Roads’ percent positivity is around 10%, a concerning number.

  • To mitigate Hampton Roads’ rise in cases, the Governor and Dr. Norm Oliver will issue an executive order and public health emergency order affecting the Hampton Roads region, which will come into effect on 12:00 AM, Friday, July 31st. The following regulations will be enforced in the region:

    • ​No alcohol will be sold or consumed on site after 10 pm. All restaurants must close by midnight.

    • Indoor dining will be limited to 50% capacity, along with food courts, breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

    • Public and private social gatherings of more than 50 individuals (indoor or outdoor) will be banned.

  • Starting this week, the 2nd half of federal CARES Act money ($645 million) will be distributed to local governments throughout Virginia.

 

Additional Data and Information

  • According to the VDH website:
    • 86,994 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.

    • 7,686 of those individuals have been hospitalized.

    • 2,095 of those individuals have lost their lives to this virus.

  • This virus has been shown to disproportionately affect the African American and Hispanic/Latino population throughout the country. As such, Virginia has begun to collect race/ethnicity information. With the 65,994 cases we have racial and ethnicity data on, 15,187 are African Americans and 25,713 are Hispanic or Latino.

 

COVID-19 Executive Orders

Since the pandemic reached Virginia more than a month ago, the Governor has issued numerous executive orders to address it. Here is a brief explanation of each, as well as the links to the full Executive Orders.

Most recent Executive Orders:

Executive Order 64: Declaration of a State of Emergency Due to Civil Unrest and Institution of a Curfew in the City of Richmond and the City of Virginia Beach

Executive Order 65: Phase Two Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus

Executive Order 66: Establishing Juneteenth as a State Holiday

Executive Order 67: Phase 3 Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Link to all Executive Orders here.

 

COVID-19 Resource Page

I have a page on my website dedicated towards providing resources offered by the state, local government, and other entities, to those who need it. If you need assistance please visit the webpage now!

Additionally, there are other helpful, informative links that I would recommend you take a look at so you can stay up to date on this dynamic situation. You can visit the webpage here.

Ve aquí para español.

 

 

Prince William County Information Center

 

Here is further information on what our county will be doing during this time:

  • Prince William County has instituted a text alert system for COVID-19. Those interested in receiving updates from the county via text can text COVIDPWC to 888777 for English or COVIDPWCES to 888777 for Spanish
    • Additionally, residents can call the county's information at (703) 794-4669, Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm, for information regarding county government operations.
    • Health questions related to COVID-19 can be addressed by the Prince William Health District's call center #: (703) 872-7759, 9 am - 5 pm, seven days a week.
  • Prince William County Schools, along with all of Virginia’s schools, will be closed for the remaining academic year.
  • School Age Child Care (SACC) will be closed from March 16 onward.
  • PWCS and the County will provide packaged breakfasts and lunches at select locations throughout the county to anyone under the age of 18. For a complete list of all to-go food locations and additional information please click here.

 

 

ERs Remain Open and Safe

Emergency physicians working on the frontline of this crisis continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and stay at home when possible. But, the doctors say, Virginians should not delay necessary medical care, especially if you think you are having an emergency. 

 

 

 

Comcast Updates

Comcast has recently announced that they will extend the free internet service to low-income customers they have been giving through the rest of 2020 as well as keeping their free public WiFi hotspots open through the end of the year. Please check out the following press releases from Comcast for more information:

Internet Essentials 60 days of free Internet service extended through 2020

Comcast extends free public WiFi access to everyone for the remainder of 2020

 

My Contact Information

Email to: delhayala@house.virginia.gov, or call my office at: (804) 698-1051.

Stay up to date by signing up for newsletters: Newsletters

Please watch my social media and website for additional updates:

In closing, I am here for you as is our Governor and our government agencies who are readily available to help during this tough time. It is important we prevent the spread for the safety of everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable.  In addition, let's focus on caring for one another and beating this virus together.

 

Sincerely,

Hala Ayala