Legislative Reports & Updates
November 21, 2020
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Make Funeral Directors a Priority for COVID-19 Vaccine
Dear VFDA Members:
With two strong vaccine candidates about to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA, governors are likely looking at who will get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine in their state right now. We urge you to proactively reach out to our governor and urge him to follow the NASEM framework and prioritize funeral directors with healthcare workers.
The NFDA developed a sample letter that you can send to Governor Northam. I encourage you to download the editable version of the letter (Microsoft Word document), edit to include your signature, name and contact information in the space provided at the bottom of the letter and mail to the Governor’s office right away.
With the Virginia Funeral Directors Association’s Advocacy efforts we can make a difference during this pandemic and future emergencies.
Please also see the letter that the VFDA sent to the Governor’s office today.
I appreciate you taking the time to send a letter to the Governor’s office. If you also have a moment, please e-mail me a response that you did send a letter. I would like to track our efforts.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Letter for Members to Send (Microsoft Word document will download)
November 19, 2020funeral_home_covid_letter
November 13, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of the Governor
Governor Northam Announces New Statewide Measures to Contain COVID-19
~ Includes limit of 25 individuals for in-person gatherings, expanded mask mandate, on-site alcohol curfew, and increased enforcement ~
RICHMOND— As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam today announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.
“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” said Governor Northam. “Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one Commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives.”
Governor Northam shared a new video to update Virginians on the additional steps the Commonwealth is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday, November 15:
·Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
·Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
·Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
·On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.
Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly-reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. While Southwest Virginia has experienced a spike in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, all five of the Commonwealth’s health regions are currently reporting a positivity rate over five percent. Although hospital capacity remains stable, hospitalizations have increased statewide by more than 35 percent in the last four weeks.
On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new contracts with three laboratories as part of the Commonwealth’s OneLabNetwork, which will significantly increase Virginia’s public health testing capacity. Contracts with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk will directly support high-priority outbreak investigations, community testing events, and testing in congregate settings, with a goal of being able to perform 7,000 per day by the end of the year.
The full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-Three and Order of Public Health Emergency Five and sixth amended Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven will be made available here.
For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
November 10, 2020
October 30, 2020
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