Home Coronavirus Live Video: Gov. Ralph Northam Provides Latest (3/20) Update on the Coronavirus...

Live Video: Gov. Ralph Northam Provides Latest (3/20) Update on the Coronavirus Situation in Virginia

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See below for video of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Friday morning briefing on the Coronavirus situation in Virginia.

  • Hearing some reports of some businesses (“a minority” in Northam’s words) being non-compliant on social distancing/10-person limit, but many businesses and many people are doing the responsible thing. Localities can enforce compliance.
  • This pandemic is affecting everyone’s lives, it is forcing changes in people’s routines, and for many people it is affecting their jobs and their income. Virginia’s government is doing everything it can to help people.
  • This situation is scary, increases stress/anxiety that can exacerbate underlying health conditions, can lead to alcohol or drug abuse, increased risk of domestic violence, etc. If you need help, call 1-800-273-TALK and/or 1-800-985-5990
  • It is critical in a time of upheaval that we maintain our social ties and our social contract.
  • The latest numbers are: more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.; 114 cases in Virginia; there is a case in Southwest Virginia, so now every region in Virginia has at least one case of COVID-19; two deaths so far in Virginia from COVID-19. We have the ability to do more than 1,000 tests currently. We do not have a medicine or vaccine for COVID-19. We need to all practice social distancing.
  • From reporter Max Smith: “Workforce advisor Megan Healy — Yesterday alone, 16,000+ unemployment claims in Virginia. Huge increases continuing. Asking people to apply online to help staff handle. Increased server capacity. Also expanding call center using DMV call center…Healy says if you sign up with direct deposit may be able to get money within a week. Healy says wants everyone out of work to apply who even might be eligible since if federal rules change on eligibility as things go on they can go back and approve you later.”
  • Gov. Northam encourages all Virginians to fill out their Census form by mail, phone or online – says “it is critical” to do so.
  • The more we can slow this virus down, the more we can help hospitals treat more people.
  • It’s important for businesses that take care of people’s needs to stay open, but of course practice social distancing. The whole point is to “flatten that curve as much as we can.”
  • Gov. Northam encourages people to get out, get some fresh air, keep morale up…but use common sense in doing so. Northam thanks healthcare workers, grocery workers, scientists, first responders, businesses following guidelines, etc.
  • The National Guard is “on standby” right now – no decision has been made to “deploy them or mobilize them” at this point.
  • Virginia is attempting in various ways – “a lot of different possibilities” to get more PPEs (personal protective equipment) for healthcare workers, etc. From reporter Max Smith: “On masks & other protective equipment. Va Health Commissioner Dr. Oliver says state Dpt of Health got about 200,000 N95 masks + surgical gowns etc, being distributed to first responders/EMS & hospitals. Have asked for more from federal national stockpile, but many requests there”
  • There will probably be some “new criteria” put out today around testing.