I hope that you are remaining safe as we navigate though these challenging times. We continue to receive regular updates from Governor Northam and his administration. As always, we will continue to forward these updates to you.
Governor Northam today requested the General Assembly to move the May General Election and all special elections scheduled for May 5, 2020 to the November 3, 2020 General Election date to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is also exercising his statutory authority (§ 24.2-603.1 of the Code of Virginia) to move the June primary elections from June 9, 2020 to June 23, 2020.
Racial Demographic Data on Confirmed Cases
In order to ensure that we are addressing the longstanding racial inequities in access to healthcare, Governor Northam has directed VDH to work with private testing labs and other private partners to ensure that racial demographic data is more accurately reported.
Virginia ABC Directives Governor Northam has directed ABC to allow establishments with mixed beverage licenses, such as restaurants and distilleries, to sell mixed beverages through takeout or delivery. This will be effective at midnight on Thursday.
Additionally, the Governor directed the Virginia ABC authority to defer annual fees for licenses and permits that would be up for renewal through June.
Remote Online Notarization
Since 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia has allowed for Remote Online Notarization. Given the increased demand for this process, the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office has published guidelines on Electronic Notary Applications. Additional information can be found in the document attached below.
Face Coverings in Public
Governor Northam urged Virginians to follow CDC guidelines and wear face coverings when in public spaces where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These face coverings need not be medical-grade masks, and the CDC provides an instructional video on how to make your own face covering.
Emergency Shelter for the Homeless
Governor Northam today announced an initial $2.5 million in emergency funding to shelter Virginia’s statewide homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. A press release on that emergency funding can be found here.
This emergency support will provide temporary housing for the approximately 1,500 Virginians who are currently unsheltered or rely on shelters that require them to leave every day. The funding will also provide housing for individuals in shelters that may need to be quarantined, or where social distancing is not feasible.
The Northam Administration is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete contracts, approve designs, and move towards construction. The goal is for the alternative care facilities to be ready in 6 weeks, to correspond with the projected peak of the virus in mid-May.
In the previous week, over 114,000 individuals have filed unemployment claims in Virginia. The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is moving swiftly to expand its capacity to deal with the surge in claims. The VEC has upgraded its website, expanded server capacity, and will be increasing call center staffing by 20%.
Frequently Asked Questions from Workers
Given the substantial economic impact that COVID-19 has had on Virginia's workforce, the Northam Administration has released a comprehensive FAQ document to address questions that workers may have. That document can be found here.
Federal Major Disaster Designation
Governor Northam announced that Virginia has received a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in the Commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Governor Northam requested this federal disaster assistance on Monday, March 30.
A Major Disaster Declaration designation provides federal public assistance for all areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent. The full press release on the Major Disaster Designation can be found here
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