Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday encouraged Virginians to prepare for the “long haul” of self-isolation and quarantine as 67 more positive cases, and one new death, have been identified in the state.
The new cases bring Virginia’s total to 219 and three deaths, with the latest being a man from Fairfax in his 60s.
The two other deaths were in the Peninsula.
As of Sunday, James City County has 32 of positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Williamsburg has 5, York County has 5 and Newport News has 2, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Testing kits and health care professionals
- Most of the new cases were reported from tests in private labs.
- State labs currently have about 1,000 test kits available and are looking at how to best spread those resources.
- The state government is working with local companies to provide adequate personal protective equipment to as many health care workers as possible who are working with coronavirus patients.
- On Saturday, Home Depot provided a large shipment of personal protective equipment to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
- Health care professionals should reschedule elective surgeries and use telehealth technology whenever possible.
Economy and schools
- Northam said he is in continuing discussions with chief executive officers of Virginia companies to prepare for the economic impact.
- The state government is monitoring relief packages from the federal government and asking that relief also comes directly to the state.
- Northam plans to have an update on school closures on Monday but he expects there to be a long term impact.
Large gatherings and decision making
- Northam said he and his team meet at 7:30 a.m. each day to discuss what measures need to be taken for containment based on the data.
- The governor urged Virginians to take this crisis seriously and stop congregating in large groups, such as fraternity parties .
- While there is no estimate on the potential peak of the virus in Virginia, Northam repeatedly emphasized the virus’ impact will continue for months, not weeks.
Senior care facilities and inmates
- The state government is aware of coronavirus cases reported in some nursing homes across Virginia.
- More information regarding data and precautions for nursing homes will be coming out in the near future.
- There are currently no cases being reported at any correctional facilities in Virginia.
- Correctional facilities have taken measures to prevent social interaction, such as suspending visitation.
- Low-level offenders are being monitored at home to limit interaction between staff and other inmates.
The VDH has updated its testing criteria for the coronavirus with priority testing given to the following groups:
- Medical professionals and first responders who have come into contact or cared for someone with COVID 19 and have developed any symptoms.
- Persons living in nursing homes, long-term and assisted living facilities who have fever or show signs of respiratory illness but testing negative for the flu with no other diagnosis.
- People living in clusters of respiratory illness where flu has been ruled out. ie, Richmond and the Peninsula. Priority for health care facility outbreaks and nursing homes are tested first.
- Hospitalized persons who tested negative for the flu and no alternative diagnosis. Priority is given to ICU and people on ventilators.
- Williamsburg senior living retirement community resident tested positive for coronavirus
- Saturday: At 27, the Historic Triangle tops the state in the number of coronavirus cases; state total, 152. Testing criteria relaxed
- Coronavirus: Here are the state guidelines for childcare providers
- Local school divisions plan to continue paying some employees during two-week closure
- Local gyms are keeping people motivated during coronavirus closures