Governor Northam’s COVID-19 Briefing – 4/3/2020

TOPLINE UPDATES

  • Governor Northam and the Army Corps of Engineers have designated three alternative care sites in the areas of Virginia where COVID-19 is most rampant.
  • $2.5 million in emergency funding has been allocated to shelter the homeless population in Virginia.
  • Virginia has been identified by the CDC as a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19.

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM CAPACITY AND RESPONSE

  • The three newly designated alternative care sites are in the Northern Virginia, Chesapeake, and Richmond areas, as cases are highly concentrated in these areas.
  • Sites have been chosen based on their ability to be prepared in the shortest possible amount of time, as well as proximity to existing hospitals. 
    • In Northern Virginia, the Dulles Expo Center will have the ability to provide 315 acute beds, or 510 non-acute beds (this is a change from the previously identified ExxonMobil site in Fairfax)
    • The Hampton Roads Convention center will be able to provide 360 acute or 580 non-acute beds.
    • Richmond’s Convention Center will be able to provide 432 acute or 758 non-acute beds.
  • These sites are expected to be ready to provide overflow capacity to free up beds in existing hospitals at the time of the surge in Virginia, which is expected to be some time during the month of May.
  • While PPE shortage remains an issue, Secretary Carey emphasized the importance of ensuring that all three critical areas (space, staff, and supplies) will be adequate to combat the virus at its peak.
  • Virginia now has several hundred more ventilators available, with an order of 350 being fulfilled from the national stockpile.
    • An additional 350 have been ordered from the private sector.

COVID-19 CASES AND STATISTICS

  • Today, Virginia has 2,012 cases.
    • 500 new cases since Wednesday.
  • 46 total deaths, with 5 new since Thursday.
  • Canterbury Nursing home in Richmond has had a severe outbreak, with 92 total cases, and 16 deaths.
    • All residents have now been tested, and 53 were asymptomatic. This highlights the importance of staying home, as the virus can so easily spread without detection.

FEDERAL ACTION AND ECONOMIC AID, HOUSING

  • 114,104 people have applied for unemployment in Virginia.
    • This number is expected to rise in the coming weeks.
  • Governor Northam hopes to address the concerns of Virginians now facing unemployment or reduced pay, regarding rent payment.
  • The Supreme Court has suspended all court proceedings, meaning that no individuals should be evicted during this time.
  • Over 500 hotels across the Commonwealth are working alongside Virginia’s Housing and Development Authority to offer access to hotel rooms to those displaced by the virus.
  • Governor Northam encourages healthcare workers with concerns about carrying the virus from their workplace to their homes, to reach out to the VHDA for help accessing alternative places to stay during the crisis.