Today Governor Northam announced two major updates.
First, Northern Virginia and Richmond will be allowed to enter Phase 2 after COVID-19 cases continue to decline in our region. Additionally, the Governor announced a phased-in approach for our schools. More information on both Phase 2 and our schools will be presented below.
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 51,738 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
- This Friday, June 12, Northern Virginia and Richmond will join the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase 2. Northern Virginia and Richmond will remain in Phase 2 for a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Virginia’s PPE supply and hospital bed availability is sufficient, and testing is increasing. By the end of June, they aim to have 15 contact tracers per 100,000 people in our Commonwealth.
- Governor Northam talked about his plan to get our children back to school through a phased in approach, which allows school systems the flexibility they need to protect our children. Schools will be able to reopen in the fall using the following phased approach:
- Phase 1: Most instruction is still online; however, there are in-classroom exemptions for students with disabilities.
- Phase 2: Some students will return to in-classroom instruction. These students include Pre-K through 3rd graders, English-learning students, and students with disabilities. Most schools are in this phase currently.
- Phase 3: In-school instruction will resume for all students; however, schools must practice social distancing and face coverings will still be required. There will likely be a blending of in-person and remote instruction to ensure social distancing is practiced, and remote working & telework options will be available for at-risk faculty and students.
Additional Data and Information
- According to the VDH website:
51,738 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.
5,203 of those individuals have been hospitalized.
1,496 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 35,174 cases we have racial data on, 7,154 are African Americans. With the 34,324 cases we have ethnicity data on: 17,269 are Hispanic or Latino.
Northern Virginia’s Current Status Regarding Phase 1
The Governor announced that Northern Virginia can join the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase 2 starting this Friday, June 12th. 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
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.