I hope you and yours are doing well and staying safe. As we progress through month 6 of this pandemic in Virginia, I want to highlight an important issue. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, it has taken 48,344 lives and caused 1.4 million attempts in just 2018.
We are now in the 6th month of this pandemic. As the numerous experts, officials, and the Governor said back in the beginning of the pandemic, this virus would be something we will have to fight against for months, not weeks.Though our statistics give us reason to be cautiously optimistic, there are still new cases found everyday. We need to carry on practicing physical distancing and safe, healthy, habits. While we all continue to fight against this virus together, my colleagues and I continue to pass legislation that will improve Virginia.
This past Tuesday, August 18th, our General Assembly began its special session. The House of Delegates met in person on Tuesday, but we have since been holding our session virtually. It is certainly an unprecedented manner of convening our legislative body, but this is certainly an unprecedented time. For the sake of the health of my colleagues, General Assembly staffers, their families, and the local residents of the Richmond area, I am proud we have made this historic step.
As we expected back in March, this pandemic isn’t something that would end in a few weeks, it could be something we have to deal with for the rest of the year, and possibly beyond. It’s important we do everything we can to stay safe, and keep others around us safe. With that said, our government is hard at work to ensure the toll this pandemic is taking on all of our lives is mitigated as much as it can be. It will take all of us working together to overcome this tough situation!
In the coming days, we will be entering the 5 month mark since the pandemic began in Virginia. It’s been a long few months, but we’ve known that we would be in this for the long haul. We’ve had to do more than take some temporary precautions, we’ve had to shift our entire lives. With the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias, we can expect the hurricane season to begin in Virginia a bit earlier than usual. This year will be different than others since we have this pandemic to deal with.
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.
While over the past few months we slowly flattened the curve, recent weeks have brought a small rise in cases in Virginia. This rise is not as bad as the rapid spike of cases that other states in the country have experienced during the same time, but it is something that must be addressed.
I hope you and yours are doing well. As our data comes in, Virginia continues to move through this pandemic in a positive way.
This is great news, but I take it cautiously. Numerous parts throughout the country, particularly ones that some say reopened too early, have had a second wave of outbreaks.
The Governor has just announced that Virginia will move into Phase 3 next Wednesday, July 1st. More information on what Phase 3 would look like is available in the next section. I am glad to see the data trend in a positive manner, allowing Virginia to move forward. However I want to continue to caution everyone to treat this pandemic as serious as we have the past few months.
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