I hope you and yours are doing well. We are a little over 3 months since this pandemic reached Virginia. I want to thank everyone in Virginia who has been doing their part to slow this virus down.
Please note that Virginia will not enter Phase 3 this week. But even when we do reach Phase 3, we must all continue to stay vigilant.
This means we have to continue wearing masks or face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and of course, staying at home when possible. While we are slowly recovering, we must not stop early, otherwise we risk spiking the number of cases back up, undoing all of our hard work, and more importantly, putting more lives at risk.
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 56,238 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
- As mentioned in the last press conference, Virginia is not reaching Phase 3 this week.
- The health data is positive, but requires further examination.
- Phase 3 when it is reached will include:
- Social gatherings may include up to 250 people.
- Cap on capacity for non-essential retail will be lifted.
- The cap on capacity for restaurants and beverage services will be lifted.
- Physical distancing will still be required.
- Entertainment venues like museums, zoos and other outdoor venues may open with 50% capacity, with a cap of 1000 people.
- Gyms may be open up to 75% capacity.Personal grooming services (like salons or barbers) will still need to follow physical distancing requirements.
- Child care facilities may be open.
- Overnight summer camps will still be closed.
- Recreational sports will still require physical distancing, and swimming pools may open with 75% capacity, with physical distancing.
- Face coverings will still be required in indoor public spaces.
- The state is focused on addressing the disproportionate effect this virus is having on certain communities.
- Latino people make up 45.3% of cases and for 35% of hospitalizations for which we have demographic data, even though Hispanic and Latino people make up just about 10% of Virginia’s population.
- The administration will increase outreach, translation guidance, and providing other documents into Spanish. Spanish media outlets will also be used to send out relevant information.
- More free community testing events will be directed to Hispanic/Latino communities.
Additional Data and Information
- According to the VDH website:
56,238 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.
5,744 of those individuals have been hospitalized.
1,586 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 42,502 cases we have racial and ethnicity data on, 7,954 are African Americans and 19,267 are Hispanic or Latino.
Northern Virginia’s Current Status Regarding Phase 1
Starting this past Friday, June 12th, Northern Virginia has entered Phase 2. The details of Phase 2 include:
- Restaurants can having indoor seating at 50% capacity.
- Gyms and fitness can having indoor workouts & exercise at 30% capacity.
- Pools opening with some restrictions.
- Outdoor venues opening with some restrictions.
- Recreational sports are allowed with social distancing and no shared equipment.
- Gatherings will be limited to 50 people.
- Teleworking & social distancing strongly encouraged.
- Face masks will still be required in indoor spaces.
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
Link to all Executive Orders here.
I am so proud to see Virginia move towards making Juneteenth a state holiday. Tomorrow, June 19th, will mark 155 years since the last African Americans slaves heard the news that they would become free. We have recognized the Fourth of July holiday for so long, but for so many Americans, they didn’t receive the same freedoms promised by our country on that day in 1776. Celebrating Juneteenth will recognize the moment when achieving true freedom became true for so many African Americans.
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.
Prince William Testing Sites
There are multiple testing sites throughout Prince William County. If you don’t have a primary care doctor and/or insurance, please review the information found here regarding testing sites.
Eligibility is restricted to first responders, health care providers, those with symptoms, and those in high risk groups. If interested, visit www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to check eligibility.
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.
My Contact Information
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my office at: (804) 698-1051.
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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.