Governor Northam's COVID-19 Briefing – 6/26/2020
- Starting next week, COVID-19 briefings will go from twice weekly, to being held "when needed".
FORWARD VIRGINIA PLAN: Phase Three – Begins Wednesday, July 1
- Governor Northam urges Virginians to continue to be cautious as we move into Phase 3.
- The continued use of face coverings is vital to prevent a surge in cases after re-opening such as other states have seen.
<h4HOSPITALS, PPE AND TESTING
- Percent positivity continues to trend downward.
- Today's percent positivity is at 6% statewide.
- Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients continue to trend downward.
- This includes patients in ICU beds and on ventilators
- The 7-day rolling average for daily tests administered statewide is 10,000/day.
- Lab capacity in Virginia continues to improve, as a result of the combined efforts of both state and private labs.
- The Laboratory Response Network, created by the CDC to respond to chemical and biological public health threats, has been successful in boosting laboratory capacity for COVID-19 testing.
- The Virginia "One Lab" Network:
- Goal for testing capacity to consistently exceed need for testing.
- Includes two tiers of labs with the goals of administering as many tests as possible.
- Tier One: Virginia Public Health Labs
- DCLS and FFx
- 4,500 PCR tests/day
- Tier Two will consist of at least 3 other private entities that will partner with the public health labs in order to expand their testing capability specifically for public health use.
- Each of the 3 labs will have a goal of 1,000 more PCR tests/day.
- Broad Testing Goals:
- Anyone who is symptomatic, or has been in close contact with someone who is symptomatic or has had a positive test.
- 2-4% of the population per month, in each district.
- This ensures wide-spread testing across the entire state.
- 6,000-13,000 tests per day statewide.
- Containment through contact tracing.
- Point Prevalence Surveys in long term care and behavioral health facilities, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities.
- Governor Northam called on Chief Circuit Court judges to extend the moratorium on evictions that is set to expire on June 28.
- At the state level, he has directed the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to create the VA Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.
- Using $50 million from the CARES Act, the program will assist those who have been unable to pay their rent or mortgage payments as a result of COVID-19.
- Launches Monday, June 29
- DSS is also launching a one-time energy assistance program to help Virginians who have accumulated energy debt throughout the crisis get back up to date on their energy payments before the moratorium on service cut-offs expires.
- The re-opening guidance issued by the Governor's office to schools does not include any mandatory requirements for schools.
- Each individual school district has the authority to create their own re-opening plan in order to allow them to devise a plan that best fits the needs of their own community.
- The Governor's office encourages parents to reach out to their local school board members with questions regarding the re-opening plan in their child's school.
- The state guidance document recommends that all schools enter Phase 3 next week.
- Phase 3 recommends that all students receive in-person instruction, with social distancing measures in place that may require modified schedules and smaller class sizes.
COVID-19 CASES, STATISTICS AND MODELING
- Total cases: 59,946
- Total deaths: 1,675
- Total tests: 654,500
- The Governor's office has granted an additional 90 days to renew drivers licenses or registrations that expire before July 25.
- Secretary Carey discussed a new contact tracing app that is in beta-testing for use in Virginia, stressing the fact that it is a tool to be used by the contact tracing teams as they attempt to implement contact tracing to contain the spread of the virus.
- The VDH published re-opening guidance for long term care facilities this week.