Home Coronavirus Video: Gov. Northam Comments on Rising COVID-19 Cases, General Assembly Session, 2020...

Video: Gov. Northam Comments on Rising COVID-19 Cases, General Assembly Session, 2020 Elections

Northam: "I am heartened that president-elect Biden's first action has been to appoint a task force to respond to the coronavirus pandemic."

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See below for video and highlights from Gov. Northam’s press conference yesterday on COVID-19 and other issues.

  • Northam says COVID-19 cases are “unfortunately trending upward.”
  • “We’re seeing a rise in cases and in percent positivity which is now 6.2 percent statewide, and we’re also seeing a rise in our hospitalizations. This is very concerning especially because it is getting colder the holidays are approaching and the temptation to gather with other people…We continue to be concerned about Southwest Virginia which has rising cases community spread and fewer hospitals than other regions…We’re focusing on a communications campaign to emphasize the importance of doing the things that we know work – avoiding indoor gatherings, washing our hands and wearing face coverings…whenever you’re around other people, especially indoors “
  • “We’re announcing contracts with three labs to participate in our new one lab network. One lab is our coordinated COVID 19 lab testing system. It allows us to increase our testing capacity, specifically to support high-priority testing campaigns such as community testing in surge areas, outbreak investigations and testing in congregate settings such as our nursing homes. This network will allow us to add about 7,000 new tests per day by the end of the year. Second, we’re in the process of distributing antigen tests; those are the quick response tests. We purchased 200 testing compact and those are arriving in Virginia and being distributed to our nursing homes and our long-term care facilities.”
  • We’re seeing rising cases in other regions and around our nation as well; the central region of Virginia for example is seeing a steady increase in case counts. So my message today is for every Virginian, because we are one state one commonwealth and no region is an island. We all need to step up our vigilance and our precautions, especially as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday…I’m not saying don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but if you’re planning to gather with people outside of your household, think about ways to do it more safely”
  • “We are also continuing planning for a coronavirus vaccine. Yesterday, we all heard good news from Pfizer that their vaccine appears to be very very encouraging, but we should all remember that this isn’t the magic bullet. Any approved vaccination will still take months to distribut. Virginia, like other states, has spent months already preparing plans for how to equitably distribute a vaccination when a vaccine is ready – one that is safe and effective we will be ready too in Virginia.”
  • On the General Assembly special session wrapping up, Gov. Northam said “I’m proud of the good work we did together to address criminal justice reform and adjust our budget for COVID considerations, but I still have some concerns specifically about restrictions on executive authority to respond to the COVID pandemic…”
  • On the election, Northam said: “We saw roughly 73 percent of all registered voters turn out to vote, either in person early in person or by mail. Virginians embraced our new early voting laws. Around 2.8 million Virginians voted early in person or early by mail – a jump…from when early voting was more restricted. I really want to thank our election officials both at the state level and in every locality for a smooth and well-run election, especially given the challenges of this pandemic. I also want to thank all of the poll workers, the people who volunteered their time. Elections are the ultimate exercise in democracy and we are all grateful to those who make them work. Today, Virginia localities are certifying their election results. Next week on the 16th, the state board of elections will meet to certify those results. This is our system working as it should.”
  • “Finally a word about the results of those elections. We expect to have a new president in January, president-elect joe Biden, and I look forward to working with him and Vice President Kamala Harris. I am heartened that president-elect Biden’s first action has been to appoint a task force to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.”