Governor announces COVID action plan

Governor Youngkin at a Roanoke COVID testing site
Governor Youngkin at a Roanoke COVID testing site(WDBJ7)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:54 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/Governor’s Office Release) - Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced his COVID Action Plan, aligning with Executive Order Number Eleven, to provide hospitals, health systems, nursing facilities and other healthcare providers the tools he says are necessary to combat COVID-19.

The plan also includes issuing “clear testing guidelines to prioritize the use of COVID rapid tests and marshalling further resources to encourage Virginians to get the vaccine,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“While many families have experienced tragedy over the last two years, Virginians have truly embodied the spirit of Virginia as they came together to fight a common enemy—COVID-19,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Today’s announcements are designed to give Virginians the tools and resources needed to make the best decisions for their families, strengthen our hospital systems, and ensure a strong recovery as we encounter new challenges associated with the pandemic that has become part of our everyday life.”

Click here to read a full copy of the COVID-19 Action Plan.

Governor Youngkin talks about COVID in Roanoke
Governor Youngkin talks about COVID in Roanoke(WDBJ7)

COVID-19 Vaccine Marshall Plan for Virginia

Youngkin says he will devote additional resources and efforts to encourage the nearly 1.6 million Virginians who are still unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He says data show people vaccinated from COVID-19 are four times less likely to be hospitalized than those who are not.

Youngkin’s actions include:

· Directing the Secretary of Health to re-prioritize resources toward vaccine education and outreach, including expanded efforts in disproportionately unvaccinated communities.

· Plan to host and attend COVID-19 vaccine events across the Commonwealth.

· Working with Governors across the country to learn best practices on vaccine education.

· Empowering Virginia with choices, not mandates.

Expanded Healthcare Flexibility & Support

Youngkin signed Executive Order #11 to “give healthcare providers flexibility and support to battle staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unconstitutional federal mandates on healthcare workers,” according to his office.

Youngkin’s actions include:

· Allowing hospitals and nursing homes to rapidly expand bed capacity by waiving regulations.

· Providing flexibility for qualified out-of-state nurses and healthcare professionals to practice in Virginia.

· Creating appropriate exemptions to scope of practice requirements to allow healthcare providers to care for patients in this difficult time.

· Expanding the number of providers available to offer the COVID-19 vaccine.

· Expanding flexibility, overtime hours and availably for personal care workers.

Prioritized Testing Guidelines

The Governor says he will prioritize testing guidelines to mitigate supply-chain shortages for COVID-19 tests. He says he will discourage mass testing for the purposes of pre-screening, discourage asymptomatic people from testing, and urge healthy people with mild symptoms to stay home and use discretion on testing.

The governor’s actions include:

· Expedite pending orders of rapid tests.

· Redeploy unused tests at state agencies and other non-essential facilities to schools, hospitals and nursing facilities.

· Directing the State Health Commissioner to issue new guidelines that prioritize the use of rapid tests for key categories, including:

· Students potentially exposed to COVID-19 who need to test to remain in school.

· Essential healthcare professional and other essential workers who need to be tested to return to work.

· Vulnerable citizens, including those in nursing facilities and over the age of 65.

· Those with serious medical conditions and theircaregivers.

· Those who need to be tested after consultation with a healthcare provider.

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