I wanted to share with you the latest COVID-19 update and the work that is being done to help our Commonwealth and our communities. I hope you are managing the slow path back to normal. For a moment, I wanted to give you an idea of how I am doing.
My new normal includes 5 additional pounds. All those walks I was going to take somehow turned into hours spent sitting in front of my computer.
We rarely go outside our neighborhood. And when we head out to the grocery, we are dressed for combat, wearing masks and gloves and clothes that we can throw in the washer.
I have made friends with the squirrels and the birds that converge on my deck to scoop up the sunflower seeds and bird seed I put out every morning. A robin built her nest in the wreath on my front door and for weeks we were only been able to enter the house through the garage. I was disappointed when she finally flew away.
I am worried about our children and the impact this is having on their school experience. I am sad for our graduating classes who will miss out on that walk across the stage to be handed a well-deserved diploma. As this crisis continues the problems are growing. I am concerned for our small business owners and their workers and other vulnerable communities, particularly regarding access to food and health care and the cost of housing. We have strong leadership and that helps me have confidence that we are doing the right things.
I know these times are challenging, but we will get through this together. I hope you and your families are staying safe and are healthy. I am looking forward to getting out in our community and seeing you all again. Please contact me if you need any assistance or have questions.
My Best Regards,
Here are the latest updates from Governor Northam:
Delayed Phase 1 enactment for Northern Virginia Region
Governor Ralph Northam today issued Executive Order Sixty-Two, allowing specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan. This executive order allows the Northern Virginia localities to delay implementation of Phase One until midnight on Thursday, May 28, to allow those localities more time to meet the health metrics. In conjunction with this executive order, Governor Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA also issued Order of Public Health Emergency Number Four.
The full text of Executive Order Sixty-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Number Four can be found here.
Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne sent the attached memo to localities which lays out clear guidance on the process of accessing federal relief funds for localities. You can read this memo here.
Pandemic EBT Benefits
The Virginia Department of Social Services has announced federal approval for Virginia to provide Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to families of school-age children who no longer have access to free or reduced-price school meals due to public school closures. Eligible Virginia households include students who receive free or reduced-price school meals, as well as students enrolled in schools that provide free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision. Families are not required to be current SNAP participants or complete an application to qualify for P-EBT assistance.
Virginia National Guard
As the Governor announced in his press conference last week, Virginia has successfully mobilized the National Guard to assist in 12 major testing events thus far. Under federal Title 32 status, the federal government is helping to pay for this assistance. However, this status will expire at the end of May. Governor Northam has also formally requested that the President extend this authorization.
Hiring Contact Tracers
The Virginia Department of Health will be hiring 1,300 individuals to conduct and oversee the contact tracing process. Interested applicants will find a listing of the number of open positions in the orange box on the left hand side of the page, and a link to the staffing agencies who will conduct the hiring process. You can find a link to that information here.
Testing Sites for COVID-19
Virginia has seen a large increase in the number of tests administered daily. According to the Administration, the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, the state lab, has increased testing capacities from initially 100 per day to now more than 300 per day. Click here to find a testing site near you.
Testing in Federal Detention Centers
Today, Governor Northam sent a letter to the Virginia Congressional Delegation, urging the federal government to implement additional screening and testing for COVID-19 in the Farmville Detention Center and Caroline County Detention Center. A link to that letter can be found here.
Phased Opening of DMV Centers
Governor Northam announced that on Monday, May 18, DMV will open 11 customer service centers in 7 of the 8 regions of Virginia, excluding the Northern VA region. These centers will only provide the services that can only be done in person, such as obtaining an original driver's license, original vehicle registration or title, disabled parking permits, and vital records.
DMV Credential Extensions
Driver’s License/ID card and Vehicle Registration
The validity of driver’s licenses and identification cards expiring on or before June 10, 2020 is extended for 90 days, not to exceed July 31, 2020. This means that a customer whose credential expires between March 15 and May 1 will have an additional 90 days beyond the expiration date to renew and credentials with an expiration date from May 2 to June 10 will expire on July 31, 2020. This includes credentials for individuals aged 75 and older who are typically required to visit a DMV office to renew.
Vehicle registrations that expire in March and April are extended for 90 days, and those expiring in May are extended for 60 days.
All renewal fees (driver's license, identification card and vehicle registration) will remain the same and no late fees will be assessed for customers who renew during the extension period. The month in which your new credential expires will also not change from the original date of expiration. For example, a customer with a vehicle registration originally expiring in May 2020 will have until July 2020 to renew, and the new credential will be valid until May 2021.
*Virginians eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registration online are encouraged to take advantage of those services. Mail-in options are also available for a number of transactions, such as vehicle registration, original title transactions, and driver's license renewal, if mailed a notice.
Vehicle Safety Inspections
Virginia State Police administers the Virginia Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program. Information about how vehicle inspections are affected by current public health concerns is available at the Virginia State Police's Safety Division webpage. Governor Northam's Executive Directive Eight directs the Virginia State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections. However, the Executive Directive does not extend/suspend a Vehicle Safety Inspection expiration date.
If you would like to speak with a Safety Inspection Trooper within your region regarding the expiration of your vehicle's Safety Inspection Decal, please contact the appropriate Area Office from the list provided here.
VDSS Mobile App for Resources
VDSS has launched COVID-19 Virginia Resources, a mobile app and website designed to streamline access to critical and actionable resources from 2-1-1 Virginia, CommonHelp, and a myriad of other state and federal agencies. Clink on this link to download on your device: https://covid.virginia.gov/.
Behavioral Health Resources for COVID 19
Community Services Boards (CSBs) across Virginia have transitioned some in-person strategies to work remotely. Many Virginians may be in need of additional mental health or behavioral health support and services. Linked here is a document that is updated periodically with activities and resources from local CSBs.
Fairfax County Stuff the Bus Food Drive
For nine years, the Stuff the Bus food drive has served as a biannual effort to fill the shelves of local nonprofits’ food pantries. Because of the extraordinary events taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for food has surged. On May 16 and 19, Stuff the Bus will again provide opportunities for our community to help feed the hungry in Fairfax County. More information about how to donate visit: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/neighborhood-community-services/stuff-the-bus
Join the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps!
Portal for CARES Act:
VDOE Programs for Schools
Health Care Resources:
VHHA maintains a COVID-19 webpage
Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-838-8238
Fairfax County’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 703-360-7273
For further information from local school divisions:
For parents needing to find a child care provider, they can call (866) KIDS-TLC or (866) 543-7852.
Additional State Resources and Information:
Employers & Business:
Initial claims: 1-866-832-2363
Continuing claims, call: 1-800-897-5630
Executive Order 53
Any businesses with questions about essential vs. non-essential designations, can send those inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remote Online Notarization
Unemployment Claims Must Be Filed Weekly
If you have applied for unemployment insurance compensation, you must file a claim weekly with the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to continue being paid.
The VEC recommends filing claims on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday of each week.
To complete and submit a weekly claim payment request, call 1-800-897-5630 or visit vec.virginia.gov