Instead of his usual press briefings in Richmond, Gov. Ralph Northam headed to Fairfax County to address the coronavirus pandemic’s racial disparities in Virginia.
Surrounded by state and local elected officials, Northam held a bilingual press briefing at the Fairfax County Government Center today (Thursday) to talk about the disproportionate impacts of the virus on Black and Hispanic communities.
Northam said that 45% of the COVID-19 cases and 35% of the resulting hospitalizations affect the Hispanic and Latino communities, even though they account for approximately 10% of Virginia’s population.
The concern is not new. For the last several months, Fairfax County’s Hispanic population has been hit hard by COVID-19. Local officials working to address the growing racial disparity say the county needs more testing and increased outreach to vulnerable communities.
“Everyone, everyone in Virginia deserves to have access to testing and access to care,” Northam said.
Jeff McKay, the chairman of Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors, highlighted that the county has seen more than 69,000 PCR testing encounters so far — the highest in Virginia.
The county is now shifting to community testing sites and is continuing to hire contact tracers, who “reflect the demographics of the populations they are serving,” McKay said.
McKay also pointed to other county resources, like a list of COVID-19 testing sites and the multi-lingual call center (703-222-0880) to connect residents to housing, food, financial assistance and more.
“Our board feels strongly that the disproportionality of this pandemic affects all of our residents in this county,” McKay said.
“I hope that this will help set a new tone of trust and support with our Latino communities,” Northam said about Prince William County’s decision.
Northam also addressed the current and future plans for rolling back more COVID-19 restrictions.
While Virginia’s COVID-19 data are “trending in a positive direction,” the state will not enter Phase Three this week, he said. He did, though, unveil what that phase will look like.
Phase Three includes:
- safer at home recommendation
- encourage teleworking
- face coverings required in indoor public spaces
- social gatherings may include up to 250 people
- cap on non-essential retail lifted
“Just because there are more places to go does not mean you need to go there,” Northam said. “The virus has not gone anywhere. We are adapting our lives around it, but it has not changed.”
Northam said that health officials need more time to evaluate the COVID-19 data. Next Friday, June 26, is the earliest date under consideration for Virginia to enter Phase Three, he said.
“We want to make sure that we are inclusive,” Northam said in response to why he chose to hold his press briefing in Northern Virginia instead of Richmond, adding that he met with local leaders before the press briefing.
Image via Facebook
A solar panel array has been proposed on the future HITT Contracting headquarters building at Virginia Tech’s Idylwood campus (via Fairfax County) A massive array of solar panels could provide…
The Fairfax County Government Center building (staff photo by David Taube) Local officials are already preparing for “one of the most challenging” budget talks in years due to inflation, the…
Jason’s Deli will close its Idylwood Plaza location in December (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Jason’s Deli will close up shop for good next month after more than a decade…
Wolftrap Creek in fall (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Route 7 Lane Shift in Reston Starts Today — “On or about Tuesday, Nov. 29, the right-turn lane from eastbound Route…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.