Gov. Northam delivers coronavirus update

Northam Press Event 9-1-20

RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Ralph Northam provided an update on matters related to the coronavirus in the commonwealth Tuesday at 2 p.m. He started by saying that Virginians overall are doing a good job of keeping the curve flat.

Gov. Northam says the coronavirus is still alive and well in the commonwealth, but is moderately contained. The positivity rate is around 7% but we’re not at a place to ease restrictions. He says people need to continue to be vigilant. There will be no COVID-19 policy changes before Labor Day. He did say he feels we are headed in the right direction.

The COVIDWISE notification app is performing well. Virginia was the first state to use the app and Governor Northam is again encouraging Virginians to download and use the app.

Northam said testing in Virginia is working well, but not as many people are showing up to COVID-19 testing events. He encouraged folks to get tested if they think they may have the virus. Visit this site with a map of all COVID-19 testing sites in Virginia: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/

Governor Northam urged everyone to fill out census forms. The census deadline is Sept. 30, and he is urging Virginians to take part in it. You can complete the census at https://www.2020census.gov.

Northam urged everyone to stay safe as we go into the Labor Day weekend. He renewed calls to stay vigilant, be careful, wear masks, maintain social distancing and when possible, socialize outdoors. He cautioned that large gatherings are not a good idea and that we don’t want to see a spike in cases. He says he expects COVID-19 to be with us through the fall and winter until a vaccine is released.

When asked if there is any point where he would shut a college down due to COVID-19 cases, the governor said “we’re watching this closely, and will make changes if it appears colleges are not following plans and guidelines.”

Speaking on the DMV, Northam announced that driver’s licenses, learner’s permits & identification cards originally expiring in Aug., Sept., and Oct. 2020 are extended for 60 days, giving Virginians more time to renew. Credentials that expire in Nov. have been extended to Nov. 30.

Northam says the commonwealth is not following federal guidance on teachers. They were recently labeled as critical infrastructure workers. The state wants them to get tested if they’ve been exposed and are asymptomatic. He wants them to isolate while waiting for the test results instead of having to teach if they’ve been exposed and are not experiencing symptoms.

Northam urged everyone to get a flu vaccine as we go into flu season. Northam says stockpiling of PPE is going well, and a bit of a silver lining is that we are all paying more attention to hand washing as we head to typical flu season.

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