I hope you and yours are well and staying safe.
I wanted to provide you a quick update on a number of things, including COVID-19 data, the recent moratorium on evictions, and information on voting for the November elections.
As we expected back in March, this pandemic isn’t something that would end in a few weeks, it could be something we have to deal with for the rest of the year, and possibly beyond. It’s important we do everything we can to stay safe, and keep others around us safe. With that said, our government is hard at work to ensure the toll this pandemic is taking on all of our lives is mitigated as much as it can be. It will take all of us working together to overcome this tough situation!
In the meantime, please continue to check on our friends, neighbors and family. Just because we are physically separated from each other doesn’t mean we have to be emotionally separated.
We must also do a wellness check on one another, especially our most vulnerable. Please remember, if you or someone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, or the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990.
If there is anything that I can do to help or if you know someone that is in need of help, do not hesitate to reach out to our office at 804-698-1051 or via email at DelHayala@house.virginia.gov.
COVID-19 Data and Information
- According to the VDH website:
104,838 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.
8,650 of those individuals have been hospitalized.
2,370 of those individuals have lost their lives to this virus.
This virus has been shown to disproportionately affect the African American and Hispanic/Latino population throughout the country. As such, Virginia has begun to collect race/ethnicity information. With the 79,432 cases we have racial and ethnicity data on, 19,882 are African Americans and 28,176 are Hispanic or Latino.
The Governor has announced the launch of a Pediatric Coronavirus Serology study in Northern Virginia. This study will measure the proportion of children and teens with antibodies to COVID-19.
Moratorium on Evictions
Late last week, the Virginia Supreme Court granted Governor Northam’s request to place a moratorium on evictions until September 7th. During this time, no eviction proceedings will take place in Virginia, extending this necessary protection for tenants who don’t have the ability to pay their rent. Those who need assistance to pay their rent or mortgage can go here to see if they apply for relief funding. Additionally, all tenants should be aware of their rights and other relevant resources. Please go to www.StayHomeVirginia.com to find more information.
Elections in Virginia in 2020
This year has brought challenges to all facets of our daily lives. Since the pandemic has begun, our Department of Elections has been hard at work to ensure we can exercise our right and duty to vote in November. Additionally, a number of bills passed during this year’s session, including the 45-day period of excuse free absentee voting and making Election Day a holiday, will help in this mission.
Voters are encouraged to mail in their ballots this year. If you would like to vote absentee by mail, please go here. Absentee ballots will begin going out to voters’ homes on September 18th.
It is important to note that ballots postmarked before the 7 pm closing time for polling locations on Election Day will be counted, so long as they arrive before noon on the Friday after Election Day. Because of the expected increase in mail-in ballots this year, voters are encouraged to send in their ballots as soon as they can after they receive them by mail.
COVID-19 Executive Orders
Since the pandemic reached Virginia more than a month ago, the Governor has issued numerous executive orders to address it. Here is a brief explanation of each, as well as the links to the full Executive Orders.
Most recent Executive Orders:
Executive Order 65: Phase Two Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus
Executive Order 66: Establishing Juneteenth as a State Holiday
Executive Order 67: Phase 3 Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Executive Order 68: Additional Restrictions on the Eastern Region due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Executive Order 69: Declaration of a State Emergency Due to Hurricane Isaias
Link to all Executive Orders here.
Virginia is entering hurricane season during these coming weeks. This year, we have to ensure we stay prepared for the hurricanes while also following the safety practices of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to provide you with a few helpful links to assist with you preparing for the upcoming hurricane season.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has prepared a Hurricane Evacuation Guide for those who live in areas that will be affected by hurricanes. This guide lists ways to prepare for both weather and pandemic-related risks. Additional resources can be found at ready.gov/plan.
Go to VAemergency.gov/emergency-kit for a list of recommended emergency supplies for your household. Emergency kits should also contain face coverings and sanitization equipment due to the ongoing pandemic.
Please go to ready.gov/power-outages to review tips and a list of resources to prepare for an extended power outage.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management will be providing updates, weather forecast/advisories, and other resources through their Twitter and Facebook. You can follow these accounts to stay up to date and also download the FEMA app on your smartphone to receive mobile alerts from the National Weather Service.
COVID-19 Resource Page
I have a page on my website dedicated towards providing resources offered by the state, local government, and other entities, to those who need it. If you need assistance please visit the webpage now!
Additionally, there are other helpful, informative links that I would recommend you take a look at so you can stay up to date on this dynamic situation. You can visit the webpage here.
Prince William County Information Center
Here is further information on what our county will be doing during this time:
- Prince William County has instituted a text alert system for COVID-19. Those interested in receiving updates from the county via text can text COVIDPWC to 888777 for English or COVIDPWCES to 888777 for Spanish.
- Additionally, residents can call the county's information at (703) 794-4669, Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm, for information regarding county government operations.
- Health questions related to COVID-19 can be addressed by the Prince William Health District's call center #: (703) 872-7759, 9 am - 5 pm, seven days a week.
- Prince William County Schools, along with all of Virginia’s schools, will be closed for the remaining academic year.
- School Age Child Care (SACC) will be closed from March 16 onward.
- PWCS and the County will provide packaged breakfasts and lunches at select locations throughout the county to anyone under the age of 18. For a complete list of all to-go food locations and additional information please click here.
ERs Remain Open and Safe
Emergency physicians working on the frontline of this crisis continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and stay at home when possible. But, the doctors say, Virginians should not delay necessary medical care, especially if you think you are having an emergency.
Comcast has recently announced that they will extend the free internet service to low-income customers they have been giving through the rest of 2020 as well as keeping their free public WiFi hotspots open through the end of the year. Please check out the following press releases from Comcast for more information:
My Contact Information
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my office at: (804) 698-1051.
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In closing, I am here for you as is our Governor and our government agencies who are readily available to help during this tough time. It is important we prevent the spread for the safety of everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable. In addition, let's focus on caring for one another and beating this virus together.