Today we received updates from the Governor, which lays out additional measures that Virginia is taking to combat COVID-19.

Before we get to those updates, I must stress the importance of following the guidance we are given.  We must do everything we can to fight this threat to our community and to our Commonwealth. This will not be easy, this will be a sacrifice like no other.  But together, we will overcome this.

As we are fighting this together, this may or will take a toll on many. We have to make sure we 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. Note the Governor gives press conferences daily and can be watched via Facebook Live.  Some of the highlights from today’s press conference are as followed:

  • There are now 254 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
  • All K-12 schools (public and private) will remain closed through the end of this academic year.  ​The Department of Education (DoE) will provide guidance on testing waivers for the rest of the year to our local school divisions. 
  • DoE will also work to ensure high school seniors are still on track to graduate.
  • Day Care: The Governor encourages private day-cares and other relevant organizations in the community to come together to ensure all children of essential personnel are taken care of.
  • Families who need food assistance can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877877. You can also visit the website of No Kid Hungry, the organization running this texting program, here.

The Governor has also issued an Executive Order (E.O.) on the closure of non-essential businesses as well as guidance on essential business operations that can be found here.

Please be sure to read the E.O. in its entirety, it has a number of items that were covered in today’s press conference.  Some of the highlights include:
 

  • The closure of dining and congregation areas. See #3 in the E.O for the full list. 
  • The closure of recreational and entertainment businesses such as theaters, concert halls, fitness centers..etc.  See #4 in the E.O. for the full list. 
  • Essential businesses may remain open. For example, Medical retailers, grocery stores, hardware stores..etc.  See #5 in the E.O. for the full list.   
  • Any brick and mortar retail business not listed in #5 may continue to operate but must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment. See #6 in the E.O. for the full list. 

Prince William County Information Center 

Our county will also be taking further precautions during this time:

  • 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.

Small Business - Emergency Loan Application

Virginia had submitted a request for aid from the United States Small Business Agency. This application has been approved. If your small business or non-profit is located in Virginia and it requires financial assistance during this situation, please visit the United States Small Business Agency Disaster Loan website here.

Image result for 2020 censusDon't Forget to Take the 2020 Census!

During this difficult time, we must not forget other necessary responsibilities we must complete as Americans. One very important duty, which only happens once every 10 years, is to fill out the Census. Not only is the information from the Census used for statistical reasons, it will be used for essential items such as allocation of federal funds, redistricting, and informing decisions on where to build and maintain important facilities such as schools and hospitals. Please visit the official Census website here to fill it out today!

 
Other Helpful Resources
  • Virginia Department of Health:  www.vdh.virginia.gov

  • State Employee Memo via the Governor: State Employee Memo

  • Prince William County Schools grab free to-go breakfasts/lunches. More information PWC Link

  • Inside Nova article on mobile testing can be found here

  • Unemployment funds for laid-off/furloughed workers: Virginia Employment Commission

  • Supporting our Workforce: "Frequently asked Questions for Workers Regarding COVID-19" document can be found here

  • Donate Blood to the Red Cross: We are facing a shortage of blood donations. The Red Cross has a number of sites across Virginia that are open and safe to visit. Site listing here. 

My Contact Information 

Email to: delhayala@house.virginia.gov, 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.

Sincerely,

Hala Ayala