Home COVID-19 Video: In His 2pm Press Conference, Gov. Northam Will Lay Out New...

Video: In His 2pm Press Conference, Gov. Northam Will Lay Out New COVID-19 Restrictions

It sounds like it will be a "modified stay-at-home order...similar to what N.C. announced"


See below for video and highlights (below the vide), as Gov. Ralph Northam lays out new COVID-19 restrictions at his 2 pm press conference. This is, of course, in response to a massive spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths both here in Virginia and across the country. Frankly, we all should have been on “lockdown” weeks ago, but it looks like what Northam is going to announce will be far short of that – a “modified stay-at-home order” or “curfew” from midnight to 9 am, “similar to what N.C. announced.”

  • Gov. Northam says the situation around the country is “really serious” and “that’s true here in Virginia as well.” He *does* see reasons for optimism, but first, some “hard realities.”
  • Northam – case #s are not good anywhere, including in VA. Now at record-high levels after rising for weeks. Virginia’s now seeing 4,000 new COVID-19 cases per day on average. Today, we recorded an additional 54 deaths. Back in May, we were seeing about 1,200 new cases a day…now almost 4x as many.
  • Statewide rate of test positivity has almost doubled in one month, to 11%. All health regions are over 5%. Hospitalizations have increased by over 80% in just the last 4 weeks. ICU units at capacity in many parts of the country, although not in most parts of VA. But rates have been rising, and capacity is becoming a problem in SWVA and could become an issue in central VA. Doctors and nurses are literally exhausted. Some are dealing with COVID at home.
  • Northam introduces a nurse, Emily, who works at Ballad Health to hear what healthcare workers are dealing with. She says people started off seriously, now people are tired of being alone or in their homes, but now things are getting worse. She works on COVID ICU, says “we’re losing more than we’re keeping,” says she cries a lot. “It starts to take a toll on you.” If you could just stop ONE case by wearing a mask and/or staying home, it would help us so much, if everybody did that for one person.
  • Starting at 12:01 am Monday, Virginia will go into a modified stay-at-home order; every day, starting at midnight through 5 am, unless you are commuting to/from work, you are asked to stay at home. This is “just plain commonsense.” As for masks – if you are indoors and around other people, you need to wear a mask. If you are outdoors and you can’t stay 6 feet apart, you need to wear a mask. At work, wear a mask. Watching your kid play soccer, wear a mask. We need to limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people. The virus spreads when people are around each other, in groups. These measures will stay in effect through January 31; could be extended, depending on whether the virus comes under control or not.
  • Also, stepping up enforcement. Most Virginians are doing the right thing, BUT not everyone is doing so. That’s really too bad for Virginia. Some people and businesses, by being selfish, are making things harder for everyone. Can’t understand why anyone wants to flout these rules. A handful of people need to get the message, so enforcement will be stepped up. This isn’t about getting people in trouble, it’s about doing the right thing.
  • Telework if you possibly can. This doesn’t change anything about schools, colleges, universities. Limiting to 25 spectators per field for indoor sports, two guests per player for outdoor sports. Move sports outdoors if possible.
  • Faith communities – this is a holy time, holidays are typically times of joy. But this year, we need to think about the fact that you can worship wherever you are. Calls on faith leaders to set an example for members. Worshipping with a mask on is still worship. Worshipping outside or online is still worship.
  • Positive news – vaccinations are coming soon. FDA meeting today. Once approved, vaccinations in Virginia could begin in 24-48 hours…as soon as this weekend. This is very hopeful news. It will be the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. He and his wife, Pam, plan to get vaccinated. He hopes every Virginian will get vaccinated.
  • Enforcement will be similar to what we’ve been doing, but will be stepped up.
  • Why is the curfew midnight to 5 am, specifically? Northam doesn’t provide any data or anything, just says his parents always told him that “nothing good happens after midnight.” Hmmm…
  • Question on private schools being open vs. public schools being closed. Northam says we’ve given schools discretion on that and we’ll continue to do that.
  • Northam says the Supreme Court decision influenced his decision to *encourage* – not mandate – churches to do the right thing.
  • Northam says we communicate often with neighboring states. Cases have been rising in KY and TN.
  • Northam says Congress needs to “step up” and take action, by passing more COVID-19 relief. Unfortunately, Northam says it’s “imperative that we have leadership in the White House,” but it seems like president has “just checked out…it’s time for real leadership.”
  • Question on release of a violent offender. Northam expresses confidence in the Parole Board, says they do good work.
  • Northam announces that Keyanna Conner is leaving her position as Secretary of Administration for a new opportunity in the private sector. She will be replaced by Grindly Johnson, currently Deputy Secretary of Administration.

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