Friday, December 8, 2023

Northam order ensures protections for health care workers

(WYDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(WYDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

Gov. Ralph Northam recently signed an executive order which his office says reinforces some existing liability protections for the state’s health care workers and first responders as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Virginia’s healthcare workers are heroes,” Northam said in a news release. ”We must ensure that they can continue to provide high-quality and compassionate care during this tremendously challenging time.

“It is in the public interest to afford healthcare providers involved in the delivery of healthcare impacted by COVID-19 with adequate protection against liability for good faith actions or omissions taken in their efforts to combat this health emergency,” the governor wrote in the executive order.

The order doesn’t prevent liability in the case of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Health officials in Virginia on Sunday reported 18,671, cases which includes 17,873 confirmed cases and 798 probable cases in people are symptomatic but have not been confirmed by a positive test.

The death toll stood at 660 — 644 of those people tested positive for the virus, while 16 are probable cases. More than half of the deaths have been reported in nursing homes.

As of Sunday, there are a total of 17 outbreaks on the Peninsula — 6 in long-term care facilities, 9 in congregate setting like offices and apartments complexes, 1 in a health care facility and another in an education facility.

WYDaily combined the numbers from both the Peninsula Health District and Hampton Health District for geographical purposes – since the localities are considered the Peninsula.

Out of the total number of outbreaks, Hampton Health District has 20 positive health care workers and three outbreaks: 2 in congregate settings and 1 in a long-term care facility. For the rest of the Peninsula — considered the Peninsula Health District — 46 health care workers have tested positive and there are 14 outbreaks: 5 in long-term care, 7 in congregate settings, 1 in health care facility and 1 in an education facility.

As of Sunday, James City County has 163 positive cases of the coronavirus, Newport News has 125, Hampton has 123, York County has 47, Williamsburg has 22 and Poquoson has 6, according to VDH’s website.

At least 25 people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath District have died from the coronavirus.

The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Hampton Health District covers Hampton.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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