COVID-19 Resources: UPDATED
Today, Governor Northam issued a statewide order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Here is an updated list of resources for individuals during the ongoing pandemic:
- The Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission has been directed to waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers can receive benefits as soon as possible. For more information, please visit http://www.vec.virginia.gov
- The Small Business Administration has been given authority to grant low-interest loans to all parts of Virginia. If this type of assistance can help keep your doors open, please fill out the SBA Disaster Loan Application: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
General Closings and Cancellations
- All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, effective March 24th at 11:59 PM. (this does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, or access to essential services such as food banks)
- Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close for the next 30 days, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24th. This includes recreational businesses such as:
- Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums
- Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities
- Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops
- Racetracks, historic horse racing facilities
- Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, social clubs
- Retail businesses that are deemed essential are not allowed to have more than 10 patrons inside at a time, but will remain open. Some of these businesses include:
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations
- Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers
- Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology
- Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities
- Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers
- Lawn and garden equipment retailers
- Beer, wine, and liquor stores
- Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores
- Retail located within healthcare facilities
- Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions
- Pet stores and feed stores
- Printing and office supply stores
- Laundromats and dry cleaners
- All essential retail establishments are expected to abide by social distancing recommendations and enhance their sanitizing practices. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close. Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia Court System
- The Supreme Court of Virginia has ordered that all non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings be suspended through April 6th. This includes a suspension in eviction hearings. If you have ongoing matters before the courts, you may wish to reach out to your attorney or the appropriate clerk's office for specific questions.
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- The DMV has closed its service centers through April 2nd. Any ongoing business before the DMV is asked to be completed online. There has been a 60 day deadline extension for all expirations occurring before May 15th. For more information, please visit: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#covid19.asp.
- The DMV also has over 40 online transactions available on their website. This includes driver's license and ID card renewals, registration renewals, license plate surrender, insurance verification, etc.
- The Virginia State Police has also been instructed to not enforce the state's vehicle inspection program for 60 days.
- Restaurants are able to continue the function of "curbside pickup" or delivery mode if they decide to remain open.
- The Alcoholic Beverage Control has been ordered to suspend some of their regulations, making restaurants able to deliver beer and wine with their take out meals. For more information regarding ABC, please visit: https://www.abc.virginia.gov/covid-19.
- The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has ordered all publicly regulated utility companies to suspend disconnections for a period of 60 days.
- All schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year.
- The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will issue guidance to help execute plans to continue instruction. This includes options for additional instruction through summer programming, integrating instruction into coursework next year, and allowing students to make up content.
- The Federal Department of Education announced that the Department will grant a waiver to any state thats unable to assess its students due to the national emergency. VDOE will submit a waiver to the federal government to lift end-of-year testing requirements and is exploring options to waive state mandated tests.
The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here.
For the latest information regarding the virus:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov
Virginia Department of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov
Virginia Emergency Information: https://www.vaemergency.gov/coronavirus/
It can take between 2 and 14 days to show symptoms of Coronavirus. The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. To protect yourself and others, continue to take these safety precautions:
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid contact with sick people as much as possible.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Taking all necessary precautions is critical to the health of our Virginians during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office.