See below for video of Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19/Coronavirus update, at 3:07 pm Sunday afternoon. Earlier today, Gov. Northam announced that he was banning all gatherings of more than 100 people in Virginia due to concerns about the spread of the disease.
- According to Gov. Northam, there are now 45 confirmed Coronavirus cases in Virginia and one death. There’s a “cluster” of cases in the Peninsula district.
- Ban on public events over 100 people in a single room or single confined space throught Virginia (and over 50 on the Peninsula); this includes events outside the course of daily life. “It does not mean normal operations at offices…airports…” Trying to achieve “social distancing” to slow the disease’s spread.
- Please stay home. “Social distancing now can save lives later.”
- Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04) notes that Congress passed an $8.3 billion relief package on March 4. Also, Saturday morning, the House passed the “Families First” Coronavirus Response Act.
- Northam – The most important priority is the health of Virginians and our communities. Gives shoutout to healthcare providers, workers at state labs, etc., who have been working around the clock to keep people healthy. Reminds Virginians to take basic health precautions and emphasizes that it is *everyone’s* responsibility.
- Northam notes that not every family has access to the internet in order for students to participate in online learning, which is why we need universal broadband.
- From reporter Max Smith: “Va. Health Commissioner Oliver: Virginia looking into hundreds of contacts of just the confirmed cases so far. Looking at 300+ contacts just in Peninsula, & concerned about community spread State lab has tests available for 500 to 600 people, some private labs can now test too.” “Gov. Northam says goal of online learning during school closure is to keep kids’ minds sharp, but likely can’t make it mandatory learning given number of kids without internet/computer access.” “Northam suggests restaurants seat people at every other table, rather than up against each other. Says can continue to live and do business, but have to be careful”
- State agencies are pursuing the ability for employees to continue their work through telework.
- On a possible Virginia General Assembly special session, Gov. Northam says we just finished session, have “Recovene” session next month (April 22), will take action if necessary. “I don’t anticipate that right now.” From VACapitolSquare: “.RalphNortham
is open to calling legislators back if needed but does not anticipate a need before Reconvene Session. Says he is in touch with budget leaders and looking at economic forecasts closely before acting on budget.”
- Northam thanks the media for getting the word out and for its hard work.