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Coronavirus Update 4.15.2020

I write today with a few updates and helpful links as we continue to adjust our daily lives during this unprecedented time. A graphic from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) regarding the cases of coronavirus is below -- it is updated here every day at 9:00 am.

I encourage you to tune in to the Governor's 2 pm briefings at facebook.com/GovernorVA on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as we continue to try to curb the spread of COVID-19. VDH is now operating a 24-hour Coronavirus Information Hotline. For questions about the coronavirus, call (877) ASK-VDH3 or (877) 275-8343.

To watch yesterday's broadcast announcing the Governor's briefing, click here.

Legislative Update

  • The Governor recently signed several of my bills into law, including a milestone gun safety bill to create substantial risk orders in Virginia (ERPO) and a historic energy and environmental bill, the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
     
  • The Governor has recommended amendments to several bills passed this session by the General Assembly.
    • A list of the bills can be found here.
       
    • A list of the amendments can be found here.
       
  • The General Assembly will meet on April 22nd to vote on whether to accept or reject the recommended changes.

Long-Term Care Facilities

  • The Governor announced Friday that he has appointed Dr. Laurie Forlano to head up a new task force to respond to outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care centers across Virginia.
     
  • The task force will work to ensure that nursing homes and long-term care facilities have the necessary financial resources, strengthen staffing and infection control measures, and ensure access to information on where COVID-19 is appearing.
     

K-12 Education

  • Governor Northam is expanding the existing online education platform called “Virtual Virginia” to allow every public school teacher in the Commonwealth to host online classes through June 30th.
     
  • Students who do not have regular internet access can download lessons on their device and watch it offline.
     
  • Virginia's Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced that four Virginia public media stations -- Blue Ridge PBS, VPM, WETA and WHRO Public Media -- will broadcast teacher-led classroom instruction aligned with the Commonwealth’s academic standards into homes across the state.
     
  • The “VA TV Classroom” on-air schedules can be found at the links below:

Virginia ABC

  • Restaurants and bars can now serve mixed drinks via takeout or delivery. Previously they were limited to beer and wine.
     
  • Distilleries are permitted to ship directly to in-state customers.

Elections

  • June primaries, originally scheduled for June 9, 2020, will be held on June 23.
     
  • Governor Northam has requested that the May elections and all special elections scheduled for May 5, 2020 be moved by the General Assembly to the November 3, 2020 General Election.
     
  • If you plan to vote in the June primaries, you can vote absentee by mail by selecting 2A, the "My disability or illness” reason code.
     
  • Governor Northam signed HB1 over the weekend, which allows early voting 45 days prior to an election without a stated excuse. The bill will go into effect on July 1st.

Federal Legislation

  • Congressman Don Beyer has written an excellent summary of recently passed laws related to the coronavirus outbreak -- you can find the document here. Congressman Beyer previously released similar summaries of housing resources and food assistance available to Northern Virginians.

Donations

  • Arlington County is maintaining a list of non-profits in the area with urgent needs related to the coronavirus outbreak. For a list of organizations and how you can help, click here.
     
  • Click here for how you can help non-profits in Fairfax County.
     
  • To contribute to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public School, which is currently providing meals to low-income students, click here.
     
  • To donate personal protective equipment directly to the Fairfax County Health Department, click here.
     
  • Arlington County is participating in the Million Mask Challenge, which is mobilizing volunteers to sew masks for frontline health care workers. Click here for more information.

County Government

  • The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will meet virtually rather than in-person today at 1 pm.
    • The meeting will be televised on Channel 16 (Cox Channel 1016; Verizon/Comcast Channel 16), streamed online, and available on demand following the meeting. You can also listen to live meeting audio by calling 703-324-5300 during the meeting.
       
  • The Arlington County Board will meet this Saturday at 8:30 am.
    • You can watch live meetings on this page by clicking on the "In Progress" link next to the meeting when the meeting is in progress. Or watch streaming live in HD on Arlington TV's Youtube channel or broadcast on Arlington TV on Comcast Xfinity 25 or 1085 (HD) and Verizon FiOS 39 and 40 when meetings are in session.
       
    • The agenda for Saturday's meeting can be found here.

Miscellaneous

  • The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Click here to watch a video by the U.S. Surgeon General on how to make a mask at home.
       
  • The VA Department of Emergency Management has established a portal with a wide variety of coronavirus-related material. It includes waivers, memoranda and guidance, available disaster grants and loan programs, and instructions for private sector partners who seek to aid the Commonwealth in the COVID response. Those resources can all be found here.
     
  • If you have not already filled out the Census, you can do so online here.

Stay tuned for more information as this situation continues to develop.

Best,

Rip Sullivan
Delegate, 48th District
C: (571) 210-5876