Governor Northam’s COVID-19 Briefing – 3/24/2020

TOPLINE UPDATES

PPE AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES

  • Administration is working to ensure hospitals and medical professionals have what they need
  • Received first shipment of PPE from national stockpile which was distributed to health departments and other providers; expecting another distribution next week
  • Working with the private sector to procure more PPE, through purchase and donation
  • Public and private sectors are being creative, e.g., distilleries making sanitizer, Department of Corrections making sneeze guard masks
  • Working to source and move more ventilators that hospitals need; cooperating with MD and DC
  • Goal is to order 1M masks; 550K ordered with 10-day delivery time
  • Need national leadership to support state efforts, keep supply chains open and explore directed national production
  • Administration is making all efforts at state level to leverage private sector sources now

COVID-19 CASES AND STATISTICS

  • 290 cases, 7 deaths

NONESSENTIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURES

  • National and state guidance regarding canceling elective surgeries
  • Medical Society of Virginia sent letter to its members to stop performing elective procedures
  • Work Group comprised of MSV, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and others to assess provider response to this guidance. Commissioner of Health and Governor have other options if providers aren’t heeding request

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM CAPACITY

  • Proportion of COVID-19 cases in health care workers is forthcoming
  • Science and experience tell us these measures are necessary. The Administration is monitoring the case numbers, which will continue to increase and peak and then will flatten; need to protect healthcare system capacity in the meantime
  • Still collecting and analyzing data on the capacity of Virginia’s healthcare system
  • To avoid reaching capacity, Virginians should follow guidelines and practices

OTHER TOPICS

  • Workers who feel uncomfortable in their work environment should have a conversation with their employer. If they still feel uncomfortable, take it to another level or to OSHA
  • Barber shops and hair salons – going to need to work to find ways to do business safely
  • We have to use science, data and experts to make decisions. Data tells us the epidemic will be around for at least 2-3 months. We need to be realistic
  • The sooner we address the health crisis, the sooner we can address the economy
  • In communication with the White House

FUTURE BRIEFINGS

  • After tomorrow, briefings will occur every other day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:00 unless additional briefings are necessary