These last few weeks and months have been difficult, but eye opening. Throughout many facets of our society, our most dire weaknesses have been exposed. But at the same time, we’ve seen the strength and resilience of our community. Not only do we persevere through these hard times, we overcome them, and make our county, commonwealth, and country a better and safer place for everyone.
We still have a pandemic to face, which is why it is my duty to continue updating you on Virginia’s status. This week, the Governor announced our state entering Phase 2 tomorrow. However, Northern Virginia, along with a few other localities in the state, will not enter Phase 2 just yet. More information will be available further down this newsletter.
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 47,856 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
- Throughout Virginia, the data for test positivity continues to trend downward, while the number of tests have increased.
- Most of Virginia will move into Phase 2 starting tomorrow. Northern Virginia and Richmond will remain in Phase 1. Accomack County will remain in Phase 0. Phase 2 will include:
- Restaurants can have indoor seating at 50% capacity.
- Gyms and fitness can have indoor workouts & exercise at 30% capacity.
- Pools will open with some restrictions.
- Outdoor venues can open 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.
Additional Data and Information
- According to the VDH website:
47,856 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.
4,957 of those individuals have been hospitalized.
1,445 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 32,437 cases we have racial data on, 6,703 are African Americans. With the 31,482 cases we have ethnicity data on: 15,678 are Hispanic or Latino.
Northern Virginia’s Current Status Regarding Phase 1
As the Governor announces a Phase 2 opening for the rest of Virginia, Northern Virginia will remain in Phase 1. As a reminder, these are the details of Phase 1:
- Non-essential retailers opening up to a 50% capacity.
- Personal care and grooming establishments opening with strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, and must host appointments only.
- Restaurants reopening outdoor seating to patrons at 50% capacity.
- Places of worship having attendance at 50% of normal capacity.
- Gyms hosting certain outdoor fitness classes.
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
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.
Prince William Testing Sites
Walmarts in Dumfries and Manassas will offer no cost, drive-thru COVID-19 testing starting today. These will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:00 am - 9:00 am.
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.