- Phase 1 of reopening began this past weekend and “went well.”
- Virginia Beach and First Landing State Park beaches will open to certain recreational activities on Friday, May 22, 2020 under local regulations.
- The Governor has convened a team focused on how to reopen schools.
- The Governor emphasized that we cannot let down our guard in Phase 1. It is still important to wear face coverings, stay physically distant, and wash hands. Wearing a mask my save another person’s life.
TESTING AND TRENDS
- The Governor reviewed COVID-19 testing trends in
- The positivity rate, a key metric, is trending downward. The state’s goal is a 10% or lower positivity rate.
- The number of tests performed depends on the day.
- Yesterday about 5,800 PCR (nasal swab) tests and 1,700 anti-body tests (serological tests) were performed.
- Both types of tests are important in detecting whether people have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the coronavirus, which helps detection and treatment.
- Testing events are ramping up in at-risk or high-risk areas, Northern Virginia in particular.
- A testing event will occur in Petersburg, where 20,000 masks, 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, and educational materials will be distributed.
- The Health Equity Work Group is working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the National Guard to focus on high-need areas, such as Richmond, Harrisonburg and Chesapeake.
- Testing events are focused on not missing certain groups of people, in addition to testing symptomatic or exposed people.
- Virginia Beach and other beach localities worked with the Secretary of Natural Resources on comprehensive beach safety plans.
- On Friday, May 22, 2020, Virginia Beach and
First Landing State Park can open its beaches to recreational activity,
including sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and fishing as defined by the city’s
- Does not include group sports, alcohol, speakers, use of tents, or groups of umbrellas.
- Parking along the beach will be capped at 50%.
- Beach ambassadors will monitor compliance and there will be enhanced cleaning schedules for high-touch areas.
- If beachgoers do not comply with social distancing rules or local regulations, the Governor will take action to reinstate restrictions or close the beach.
- Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer further addressed
how beach regulations will work:
- Cleaning high touch surfaces
- Educating guests
- Enforcing regulations – beach ambassadors and cleaning teams
- The Governor encourages other beach localities to use Virginia Beach as a model for future reopening plans once allowed by the Governor.
Schools and Colleges & Universities
- The Governor has named a team of education
leaders at all levels to develop phases, plans, and options for reopening
schools. The team is comprised of:
- State Superintendent of Public Schools
- Local school superintendents
- Public and private college and university presidents
- Early childhood education, K-12, and other higher education officials
Courts and Evictions
- Virginia courts are beginning to hear non-emergency cases today, including evictions proceedings.
- The Administration worked with the Virginia Housing agency on a 3-month mortgage deferral for those experiencing economic hardship; qualifying landlords must pass the deferral on to their tenants.
- Virginia Housing has committed $12 million to support more than 200 nonprofit housing organizations across the state for housing support services.
- Last month the Governor amended legislation so that tenants receive a 60-day deferral on an eviction proceeding if they lost wages due to COVID-19.
- New legislation caps late fees at 10% on periodic rent or 10% of the remaining balance due, whichever is less, preventing the cascading accumulation of late fees.
- The Administration is asking the federal government to include rent relief funding in the next stimulus package.
- Virginia Housing and the Department of Housing and Community Development have launched a new website, www.StayHomeVirginia.com, for renters, homeowners, landlords, and people experiencing homelessness.
VDH COVID-19 STATISTICS
- 31,140 cases, 732 new cases in last 24-hour reporting period
- 1,014, 5 new deaths in last reporting period
- African-American cases stand at 4,864, 23% of
cases for which data is available
- 213 deaths, 24% of deaths
- Latino/x cases stand at 9,374, 45% of cases for
which data is available
- 82 deaths, 9% of deaths
- Dr. Jeffrey Stern, State Coordinator of Emergency Management at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), has taken a position with FEMA. His last day at VDEM is June 8, 2020. The Governor will name a successor at a later date.
- In many localities, elections will be held tomorrow.
- Additional polling place safety and cleaning measures have been put in place.
- Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will help elections workers and polling places, including ensuring adequate supply and proper use of PPE for poll workers.
- The Administration has no power to waive
signature requirements for candidates to get on the November 2020 elections
- Candidates should find safe and creative ways to gather signatures, or petition the courts.
- VDH has received a distribution of Remdesivir,
an investigational drug that the FDA has granted emergency approval for
hospitalized COVID-19 patients, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A Virginia medical advisory committee developed an allocation process by which
a random selection of hospitals will receive the drug so that hospitalized
COVID-19 patients have an equal chance of receiving the drug.
- The shipment of Remdesivir that Virginia received will allow approximately 350-400 patients to be treated with the drug.
- VDH will provide the names of hospitals that will receive the drug.
- VDH has learned of one case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, the disease associated with coronavirus that attacks children. More data is forthcoming.
- If a facility needs more PPE, they should contact VDEM.