COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
-Shortness of breath
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
In response to the spread of COVID-19, Congress has passed three bills into law to assist individuals and small businesses with effects of this pandemic. H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Together, these laws dramatically expand critical financial lifelines for families, establish new benefits and protections for workers, create new tools for small businesses to meet payroll and other expenses, and provide relief for students and schools. This Families First Coronavirus Constituent Service Resource Toolkit (Spanish version can be found here) will help you understand all the benefits that are available to you and your community — and how to access them.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the CDC can be found here.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the Virginia Department of Health can be found here.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can be found here.
Additional information about direct cash payments and relief for small businesses can be found here.
Situation in Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. You can read more about Governor Northam's emergency declaration here.
On November 15th, Governor Northam instituted 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 compared to other states, all five health regions in Virginia are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations. All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings. 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.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. More information on the new guidelines can be found here.
On September 11th, Governor Northam announced that, due to significantly improved health metrics in the Eastern Region at the time, localities in Hampton Roads joined the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” plan to ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. As of July 31st, the Governor had instituted new measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Hampton Roads region, which had seen an increase in new cases, hospitalizations, and positive tests. More information can be found here.
As of July 1st, all of Virginia is in Phase Three of the "Forward Virginia" plan to safely and gradually easy public health restrictions. Under Phase Three, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering increased from 50 to 250 people. All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures. Bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed. Phase Three guidlines for specific sectors can be found here. A list of Frequently Asked Questions about Phase Three can be found here.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as we enter Phase Three:
- Wear a mask;
- Wash your hands regularly;
- Continue teleworking, if possible;
- Maintain six feet of physical distance when outside of your home;
- Get tested immediately if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
- If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow these steps.
As of June 12th, all of Virgnia entered Phase Two of the "Forward Virgnia" plan. Phase Two guidelines for specific sectors can be found here.
As of May 29th, all of Virginia entered Phase One of of the “Forward Virginia” plan. Phase One guidlines for specific sectors can be found here.
For a comprehensive list of actions Governor Northam has announced to combat COVID-19 in Virginia, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Remember to take preventative actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. More information on the face coverings can be found here.
IF YOU FEEL SICK with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. More information on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 can be found here.