Home Coronavirus Video: Gov. Northam’s Saturday AM Briefing on the Coronavirus Situation

Video: Gov. Northam’s Saturday AM Briefing on the Coronavirus Situation

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See below for Gov. Ralph Northam’s Saturday morning Coronavirus briefing:

  • Gov. Northam thanks medical professionals. Says as a doctor, he knows what it’s like to be on the front lines. They are our “front line of defense” and “they need our support and protection.” “It is up to all of US to keep them healthy!”
  • Testing criteria will give additional priority to medical professionals who have had contact with or cared for someone who has COVID-19 and has developed any symptoms. Easing some criteria for folks in nursing homes and long-term-care facilities to get tested.
  • Working to get more masks, gowns and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that front-line healthcare providers need.
  • Signed an executive order last evening to lift Certificate of Public Need restrictions to give more flexibility to hospitals and nursing homes to add the beds they need “without going through red tape.”
  • The Virginia Department of Education is preparing Virginia’s waiver for federal testing requirements, and the Northam administration is considering relief to students on state-mandated SOL tests.
  • Want to make sure that high school seniors on track to graduate can still do so.
  • AG Mark Herring has issued an opinion that says public bodies in Virginia may conduct meetings electronically if the purpose of the meeting is the address the emergency and is essential. We are not throwing out transparency, proper public notice, roll-call votes, recorded minutes, etc. because there’s an emergency.
  • As of 3/21, we have 152 Coronavirus cases in Virginia – 25 in the central region, 42 in the eastern region, 77 in the northern region, 6 in the northwestern region, 2 in the southwestern region.
  • Gov. Northam urges Virginians to be wary about unfounded rumors. For instance, Gov. Northam has NOT mobilized the National Guard. When you hear information, please check the source. Get health information from the VA Dept. of Health, the CDC or other reliable sources.
  • Thanks everyone who’s taking social distancing seriously and taking basic health precautions – washing hands with soap and water, not touching your face, covering your face if you sneeze, etc. He’s proud of most Virginians, but there are a “few people who are not getting the message.”
  • “If our restaurants…fitness centers…theaters stay open with more than 10 people…you can be charged with a misdemeaner and lose your operating license on the spot.”
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, M.D. said “this is a national problem; this will not be solved without a national solution, otherwise you have each state grabbing for what you can, and we are in a responsible way, but we need a national solution…This is a national emergency within a national emergency.”
  • We have the ability to perform testing for over 1,000 patients at the state lab and are continuing to receive additional supplies to increase capacity. There are also hospitals and private labs with testing capacity.
  • Gov. Northam stresses that we’re all in this together, “it takes a village,” check on your elderly neighbors, etc. and we’ll all get through this.