Governor Northam's COVID-19 Briefing – 6/18/2020
The Governor held today's briefing in Fairfax County and focused on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community.
- Virginia will not enter Phase 3 this week or before June 26.
- Statewide COVID-19 numbers are trending in a positive direction but the Northam Administration needs to continue to monitor the data and models, as well as other states.
- Preview of Phase 3 guidelines; more details will be posted on the Governor's website:
- Safer at home
- Teleworking encouraged
- Continued physical distancing
- Continued use of face coverings in indoor public spaces
- 250-person cap on social gatherings
- Nonessential retail person cap lifted, including on restaurants and beverage services
- Entertainment venues operate at 50% capacity with a 1000-person cap
- Gyms and fitness centers operate at 75% capacity
- Personal grooming services and child care open
- Overnight summer camps remain closed
- Swimming pools operate at 75% capacity
- Face coverings worn properly are very effective at preventing spread.
- Governor Northam speaks weekly with other Governors. Other states where restrictions were lifted prematurely are experiencing surges.
- Phase guidelines indicate what is allowed, but businesses are not required to open or reach allowed capacity, especially if the business is not comfortable or cannot meet requirements.
- Virginians need to continue to be careful and limit travel. The coronavirus is still out there; we must adapt to the virus.
IMPACT ON LATINO AND OTHER HIGH-RISK POPULATIONS
- The Governor emphasized the disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly African Americans and Latinos.
- Latinos make up:
- 45% of cases for which demographic data is available
- 35% of hospitalizations
- 10% of population
- More likely to be uninsured and at-risk, especially among undocumented population
- The Governor's team is working on Spanish-language materials and media outreach.
- The Health Equity Work Group is tracking data and connecting with higher-risk communities.
- The work group is partnering with identified localities to focus on distributing PPE to the African American and Latino populations. These localities receive 20,000 masks and 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, as well as native language educational materials. Partnering localities include Richmond, Harrisonburg, Fairfax, Prince William County, and Chesapeake. Partnerships have started with Galax, Emporia, and others, where a lesser amount of PPE may be received depending on population and need.
- The Administration is also reaching out to other higher-risk communities, especially in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William County.
- Virginia's Medicaid program is focusing on enrollment outreach and allowing additional time for proper documentation.
- The Governor emphasized that the state is working on getting PPE, testing, and care to Latinos. Testing and treatment sites will not check immigration papers but rather focus on treatment.
- Several guest speakers, including many speaking in Spanish, presented on the impact of COVID-19 on, and the steps being taken to address, the Latino community.
- Heat and humidity are not likely having an effect on the coronavirus. Most of the recent spikes have been in southern states.
- The Governor is also communicating with Virginia's federal delegation and encourages Virginians to contact their elected officials.
- Budget discussions at the upcoming General Assembly's special session will include a focus on jobs and the economy.