COVID-19 Update - May 22, 2020

I want to wish Muslims celebrating this weekend a very happy Eid to you and your family! Eid Mubarak. 

This pandemic has truly made it a tough time to celebrate holidays like Ramadan, Easter or Passover. I want to thank everyone of all the many faiths celebrating these past few months for their patience and understanding during this difficult situation.

I am inspired by seeing so many of you continuing to spread the joy of your faiths through creative means such as with virtual get togethers and connecting with others on social media! These are just a few of many incredible examples of the strength and resilience of our community while we stay at home to protect each other.

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.

 

The Governor's Update

The full press conference can be watched here. Please note that the Governor will be giving these press conferences every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (unless an urgent update requires the Governor to speak on an off press conference day), and they will take place at 2 pm. They will be broadcasted and archived on The Governor’s Facebook and VPM’s YouTube channel. Some of the highlights from today’s press conference are as followed:

  • There are now 34,950 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia.
  • The percent positivity of PCR tests continue to trend downward. The rate of people tested also continues to trend upward.
  • The Governor is in frequent communication with local leaders throughout and Virginia and will give more information on when areas like Northern Virginia can move into Phase 1 next week.
  • VDH has a new tool to help Virginians determine symptoms, look at recommendations for next steps, and receive information on where to get tested. This COVID Check tool can be found here.
  • During this week, the state government’s community testing events had 4,377 tests total undertaken in Woodbridge, Manassas, and Leesburg.
    • The VA National Guard has conducted nearly 11,000 tests as of this past Tuesday.
    • 44 community testing events have been planned for next week, with an estimated 17,500 tests to be conducted.
  • There was flooding yesterday in Southwest Virginia. The VA National Guard along with Roanoke Emergency Services saved 116 people, 4 dogs, and 2 birds in Roanoke.
  • The USDA has approved a pilot project in Virginia to allow SNAP recipients to order groceries online and have them delivered. It is expected to launch next Friday, May 29th.
    • Amazon and Walmart have been approved for this program, more retailers will be added in the coming weeks.
  • As of April’s job reports, approximately 10% of Virginians have been recorded as unemployed, an unfortunately expected result from the pandemic.
    • The Governor and VEC continue to help unemployed workers during this time. More information on unemployment insurance can be found here.

 

Additional Data and Information

  • According to the VDH website:
    • 34,950 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.

    • 4,145 of those individuals have been hospitalized.

    • 1,136 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 24,189 cases we have racial data on, 5,285 are African Americans. With the 23,295 cases we have ethnicity data on: 10,977 are Hispanic or Latino.

 

Northern Virginia’s Current Status Regarding Phase 1

Earlier this month, the Governor released the criteria for the state to move to Phase 1 of reopening the state, with the caveat that localities can delay their reopening if they feel they have not met this criteria. 

While Virginia is in Phase 1, Northern Virginia remains in Phase 0.

 

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 61 begins Phase 1 on May 15th by easing certain restrictions on businesses and individuals in Virginia in response to the pandemic.

Executive Order 62 delays Executive Order 61’s Phase 1 opening in Northern Virginia by continuing Phase 0 restrictions.

Link to all Executive Orders here.

 

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.

Ve aquí para español.

 

Prince William Testing Sites

Walmarts in Dumfries and Manassas will offer no cost, drive-thru COVID-19 testing starting today. These will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:00 am - 9:00 am.

Eligibility is restricted to first responders, health care providers, those with symptoms, and those in high risk groups. If interested, visit www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to check eligibility.

 

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. 

 

 

Memorial Day

This coming Monday is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the brave soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country. I want to give my thoughts and best wishes to the loved ones of these soldiers who are no longer here with us. Their memory will always be with us!

 

 

My Virtual Town Hall

Earlier today, I hosted my weekly COVID-19 town hall. I’ll be hosting these town halls every Friday at 1 pm on my Facebook page.

If you were not able to listen and/or would like to receive the information I presented, please email me at delhayala@house.virginia.gov.

 

My Contact Information

Email to: delhayala@house.virginia.gov, or call my office at: (804) 698-1051.

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Please watch my social media and website for additional updates:

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.

 

Sincerely,

Hala Ayala