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Seven Day Forecast for Emporia, Virginia

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Total positive Coronavirus Cases in our Community, as reported by the Health Department:

Locality Emporia Greensville Brunswick Southampton Sussex
Positive Reported Today 147 373 116 168 210
Positive Reported Previously 143 368 112 163 209
Total Deaths Reported 15 8 1 9 5

Cases in our area are still on the rise. Please continue to wash your hands and avoid thouching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.

Wear a mask in public

(a properly worn mask COVERS YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE and does not hang below your chin or rest atop your head),

continue to socially distance

and wash or sanitize your hands often.

The death toll in Emporia has risen significantly in the last few days. Between June 26 and July 2 the City reported the loss of NINE (9) souls to Covid 29. Properly Worn Masks, Social Distancing and Proper Hand Washing/Sanitization may well have saved even one or two of the NINE (9) people who died during those eight days.

We're all in this together...

Career Opportunity

LPN

Posting Date:  June 8, 2020

Job Posting #:  2020-3

Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for youth located ten minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks Virginia licensed LPN. Psychiatric experience a plus.   Full-time position.  Twelve-hour evening/overnight shift (8PM to 8AM).

Compensation package includes employer matching 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screening and criminal background screening.  Position open until filled. EOE.

E-mail, fax, or mail cover letter & resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2020-3
Attn: Chris Thompson
E-mail: careers@jacksonfeild.org
Fax: (434) 634-6237

As we begin to enter Phase Two, masks are REQUIRED IN PUBLIC and everyone is still strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and regular handwashing.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

 

Information Technology Technician:  Maintains records and files in accordance with IT Department Standards. Provides hardware and software support/installation of computers and network/telecommunications system infrastructure equipment. Maintains a back-up of all digital files. Installs, troubleshoots, upgrades and configures computer hardware, operation systems, printers, software, telephones and other equipment managed by the IT Department. Maintains information technology equipment including, but not limited to, computers, printers servers and infrastructure, etc.  Job Order #1985836

Utility Maintenance Worker:  Repair and maintain water and sewer lines, read meters, perform building and grounds maintenance. Install water meters. Respond to problems on water and sewer systems. Assist in installation of service connections for wastewater and water. Repair water mains. Provide minor repairs to buildings, electrical and plumbing facilities. Perform rough and finished carpentry. Paint, weld, repair doors and locks, roofs and gutters. Perform grounds maintenance such as cutting trees, shrubs and grass. Will transport supplies and equipment in pick-up and dump trucks. Will answer emergency calls after business hours, weekends and holidays. Will operate emergency pumps and generators, etc. Will perform work as assigned.  Job Order #1985322

Heavy Equipment Operator:  Read and interpret site-specific safety plan at each site; may be amended daily. Read and interpret equipment operator’s manuals. Read and comprehend container labels prior to touching or opening. Read and interpret rigging load charts. Read manifests or waste stream labels on containers to avoid missing unlike waste streams shipped off site. Operate/drive construction type/truck equipment, etc.  Job Order #1981219

Truck Driver/Laborer:  Looking for a motivated driver to drive the company vehicles. Most of the work will be out of town. Applicant must have a valid Driver's License and have a good driving record. Candidate will perform laborer duties when not driving trucks.  Job Order #1980010

Utility Production:  Will support machine operators by learning to safely operate the dryer, glue-line and grader machines that are used in the process of making plywood. Utility Production workers are also responsible for operating small equipment and using tools (i.e. blowers, shovels, pitch forks, brooms) to clean up debris in and around machines to ensure a safe work environment for all employees.  Job Order #1979773

 

THESE AND ALL JOBS WITH THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT

www.vawc.virginia.gov

The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

Challenges and Opportunities

 

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

In recent months, our nation has struggled with its responses to two diseases, COVID-19 and racism. One stems from a viral threat, and the other is a symptom of systemic and institutional dysfunction. As news reports have amply documented, both can be deadly.

I was devastated to witness the murder of George Floyd and am saddened by the upheaval that has followed in cities around the country. Some people mistakenly believe civil rights disparities have been relegated to history. Alas, this is not so. In several states, I have been stopped by police and racially profiled while driving through predominantly white communities. My two sons have also had similar experiences. These have been very humiliating situations. People who are not members of racial minority groups are frequently surprised to learn how often this happens.

In addressing racial concerns, Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, said, “Equity and access to opportunity have been at the heart of our community college mission since we first opened our doors in 1966. However, our efforts to translate those ideals into action for all Virginians have not always yielded the results that we seek as quickly as we would like. Simply stated, we must do better, and we will.”

As part of this effort, the Chancellor asked me to lead a task force that will examine curricula for law enforcement programs across all community colleges in the Commonwealth. These programs, which enrolled nearly 2,200 students last year, represent one of Virginia’s largest sources of training for law enforcement officers.

Front-line personnel who will offer input include Chad Patton, Ph.D., SVCC’s Dean of Career and Occupational Technology. Patton served as a law enforcement officer for ten years before beginning a teaching career in SVCC’s Administration of Justice program. Patton remarked on the need to improve instruction regarding the use of force. He said, “There is not a dedicated course that has at its core the ethical and legal use of deadly force. I think such a course is needed, and it is needed at the community college level.”

Alfonzo Seward, Ph.D, Professor and Program Head of SVCC’s Administration of Justice Program, emphasized the importance of strengthening relationships between police and communities. “Law enforcement needs to work on building community trust through community policing programs. Law enforcement departments should provide citizens academies to educate the public on police tactics, methods, resources and reasons. The public’s trust will increase when they understand why the police do what they do,” he said.

Travon Smith, an African American Virginia State Trooper and recent SVCC Administration of Justice graduate, commented on the importance of constant diligence. “Racial injustice and inequality need to be addressed all the time and not just when something bad happens,” he observed.

This broader spectrum of concern is echoed in other work underway at SVCC and throughout the Virginia Community College System. A system-wide initiative called Search Advocate is being implemented to reshape the hiring process in a way that ensures inclusive practices and avoids implicit bias. In addition, I am serving on a separate VCCS long-term strategic planning task force that has been refocused with a heavy emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Embracing challenges provides an opportunity to do great things. By working together, I am confident that our community can forge a path to a brighter future for all.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Del. Jay Jones Announces Historic Campaign for Attorney General

~ Grabs endorsements from over 30 General Assembly members on first day of campaign, Congresswoman Elaine Luria ~

Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) announced today that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of Virginia in 2021.

Delegate Jones released a new video announcing his historic campaign to become Virginia’s first African American Attorney General entitled “Generations in the Making.”

“This decision is truly generations in the making,” said Delegate Jay Jones. “Five generations ago, my ancestors were freed from the shackles of slavery. Just two generations ago, my grandfather endured systematic racism and discrimination on his journey to becoming a pioneering black lawyer in Virginia.  And in 1960 my father and my uncle were two of the first black students to attend an all-white elementary school in Norfolk, Virginia.”

“Today, I am announcing that I’m running for Attorney General of our great Commonwealth, not just because it is time for a new generation of leadership, but because it is time for a Commonwealth that embraces everyone and lifts everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like,” Delegate Jones added.

"I am fortunate to have Jay Jones represent me in the House of Delegates, and I am proud to endorse him for Attorney General,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “Jay is the type of leader that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind. During my first term in Congress, we have worked together to fight for the people of Hampton Roads, and I know Jay has the conviction, integrity and experience to fight for every Virginia family as our next Attorney General."

"Jay represents a new generation of leadership in our Commonwealth that is committed to progressing our Commonwealth forward,” said Senator L. Louise Lucas. “As the first African American woman to serve as President Pro-tempore of the Virginia Senate, I could not be more honored to support Jay’s campaign to serve as Virginia's first African American Attorney General.”

“Having spent three years in leadership at the Office of the Attorney General, I have seen first hand the qualities, skills, and abilities that are necessary to be an effective AG,” said Delegate Jeff Bourne. “Jay Jones has all of the tools that will be required when he is Attorney General. Virginia is at a crossroads. We need a new voice with new solutions to old problems that have plagued our Commonwealth for too long.”

“I have seen Jay's leadership and effectiveness up close in the Virginia House of Delegates,” said Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg. “As a civics teacher, I know Jay’s statewide election would be not only historic but also vital to showing our young people that our Commonwealth is inclusive and open to everyone. Jay will make Virginia proud as our next Attorney General. We need new voices and a new generation of leaders to lift everyone up in our Commonwealth.”

Delegate Jones announced last week that he raised over $255,000 in the first financial reporting period of 2020.  Since announcing that he was exploring a bid for Attorney General in 2021, Delegate Jones has received strong financial support from all across the Commonwealth and has more than $330,000 in cash on hand as of June 30, 2020.

Delegate Jay Jones was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017 representing the 89th District.

Osteoporosis: What you can do

If you are concerned about a loved one’s osteoporosis—brittle bones—it’s a good idea to bring this up with the doctor. He or she will likely discuss various medicines that can help.

In addition, changes in daily life outlined below can go a long way to making stronger bones. Consider:

Calcium. The best food sources are low-fat dairy products; dark green leafy vegetables; canned salmon, mackerel, or sardines (with bones); and tofu. Women over age 50 should consume a total of 1200 mg of calcium per day. Men need 1000 mg/day until age 70. Then they too should get 1200 mg/day. A supplement is fine. But be sure to pick a dose that factors in the calcium your relative already receives from food. More than 2000 mg/day may increase the risk of heart disease and kidney stones.

Vitamin D. Exposure to sunshine yields vitamin D. But only when sunscreen is not used (no free lunch!). Look for foods such as milk that have been fortified with vitamin D. Or get a supplement. Adults age 51–70 are advised to take 600 international units (iu)/day. Those over age 71 need 800 iu/day. African Americans don’t absorb vitamin D well through the skin, so 2000 iu is the recommended supplement. Most people can safely take up to 4000 iu/day.

Strength exercises. Weight-bearing exercise works with gravity to produce strong bones: Brisk walks, hiking, dancing, climbing up stairs. Resistance training also helps: Lifting weights or using exercise bands. Talk to the doctor about the safest way to build up strength.

Lifestyle changes

  • Get up off the couch! A sedentary lifestyle leads to brittle bones.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks/day. Alcohol kills bone cells and leaches calcium from the bones.
  • Stop smoking. Smokers’ bones heal more slowly.

Virginia Newsom Boney

Services

Thursday, July 9, 2020, at 7:00 P.M.

Echols Funeral Home
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia 23847

Virginia Newsom Boney, 69, passed away on July 6, 2020. She was born in Roanoke Rapids, NC., and worked many years at Simmons Truck Stop in Emporia, VA. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bobby Thomas Newsom and Ocie Odell Finch. She is survived by her husband, John Howard Boney, her sons, Thomas Wayne Boney (Rebecca Jarrett) of Emporia, VA., Stephen Michael Boney (Mary) of Roanoke Rapids, NC., daughter, Tiffany Spenla (Ian) of Houston, TX., sisters, Laura Newsom of Gaston, NC., Betty Stephenson of Roanoke Rapids, NC., Dorothy Cannon (Joe) of Jackson, NC., Susan Newsom of Gaston, NC., brother-in-law, Gerald Allen of Emporia, VA., sister-in-law, Barbara Allen of Emporia, VA., grandchildren, Ivey, Evelyn, Zachary, Megan, Mathew, and her cat, Peaches.

A memorial service will be held at Echols Funeral Home, Thursday, July 9, 2020, at 7:00 P.M. with Rev. Brad Barbour officiating.

Online Condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Therapy Dog Program Seeking Volunteers

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is seeking volunteers with friendly and well-behaved dogs to participate in a program that aims to bring cheer to hospital patients, visitors and staff.

The Dogs On Call Therapy Dog Program provides complementary therapy to enhance the well-being of patients, staff, and students through canine-assisted interventions.  The dog and handler would visit patients that requested to have a visit and visit hospital departments to lift spirits of staff.

If you have a dog that would be a good fit for this program and would like to learn more about volunteering as a Dogs On Call team, please call 434-584-5411.

Governor Northam Launches Rent and Mortgage Relief Program to Assist Virginians Facing Eviction or Foreclosure

 
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which will provide $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. RMRP will provide short-term financial assistance on behalf of households in the form of rent and mortgage payments.
 
“Expanding access to safe, affordable housing has been and will continue to be a top priority of my administration, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program will help Virginians experiencing financial instability as a result of this unprecedented health crisis by preventing evictions and foreclosures and keeping Virginia families safely in their homes as we battle this virus.”
 
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the $50 million program through a variety of partners, including nonprofit organizations and local governments, which will receive upfront funds that they will distribute on behalf of eligible households. Individuals and families receiving funding will also be connected to housing counseling and receive other technical assistance.
 
Eligible households must demonstrate an inability to make rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monthly rent or mortgage must be at or below 150 percent Fair Market Rent (FMR), and eligible households must have a gross household income at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI).
 
“Safe, stable housing is essential for public health,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As we continue to secure funding for rent and mortgage assistance, this $50 million investment will serve the most vulnerable Virginians while providing a roadmap for future relief.”
 
To ensure RMRP funding assists households most in need, the program will complete targeted outreach to communities of color across Virginia. Before the pandemic, analysis from RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that minority communities had higher eviction rates, even after controlling for income, property value, and other characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on people of color.
 
“DHCD delivers programs through our partners that are closest to the Commonwealth’s communities, and our team is deeply appreciative of the local and regional network that has rapidly developed this program to assist in meeting this critical housing and health need,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “We urge all tenant advocates, landlords, lenders, philanthropy, local governments and faith communities to partner with your local program providers to ensure that these funds stretch as far as possible to Virginians most in need of this assistance.”
 
The program will also give precedence to households without other federal and state eviction or foreclosure protections. From June 29 to July 20, priority will be given to households with current gross incomes equal to or below 50 percent of AMI. After July 20, households with current gross incomes at or below 80 percent of AMI will be also be included. In addition, households with an unlawful detainer action dated prior to June 8 will be given top consideration.
 
To identify the local RMRP administering organization for a household and to conduct a self-assessment for eligibility, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility or call 211 VIRGINIA by dialing 2-1-1 from your phone. Tenants and homeowners are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent and mortgages on time if they are able. Visit StayHomeVirginia.com for additional information and resources.
 

Virginia Department of Health Urges Virginians to Engage with Legitimate Contact Tracers, Avoid Scams

Contact Tracers Will Not Ask for Social Security Numbers or Bank Details

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) encourages all Virginians to respond and engage with legitimate contact tracing calls and emails while remaining vigilant against scams. Caller ID will read “VDH COVID Team.”

The Commonwealth employs contact tracers to notify individuals who have been exposed to known cases of COVID-19. Contact tracers will offer information, encourage individuals to monitor themselves for symptoms, and refer those who develop symptoms for medical evaluation and testing to help contain the spread in Virginia.

Contact tracing saves lives by preventing the spread of COVID-19, so we encourage every Virginian to do their part and answer calls, text messages, or emails from the Commonwealth’s contact tracers.

Recognizing the signs of a scam is important. Contact tracers will not ask for money or information such as a Social Security Number (SSN), bank account details, or credit card numbers.  The Commonwealth does not charge individuals for contact tracing services.

Contact tracers will offer to enroll Virginians in a voluntary contact monitoring platform called Sara Alert, which individuals can use to update local health departments on their health status during the period of time they are participating in public health monitoring. The Sara Alert system is secure and always contacts users from the same phone number or email: 844-957-2721 or notifications@saraalert.org.

In addition to being vigilant, there are several other ways to stay safe from scams:

  • use multi-factor authentication for online accounts;
  • enable auto updates for the operating systems and apps on your electronic devices to ensure you have the latest security;
  • and back up the data on your devices regularly, so you won’t lose valuable information if a device gets malware or ransomware.

Verizon Communications, Inc provided the Caller-ID feature for VDH contact tracers without charge.

Additional information from the Federal Trade Commission on contact tracing scams is available here.

Governor Northam Prohibits Congregating in Bars, Stresses Caution As Virginia Moves to Phase Three

With cases rising in other states, Virginia will maintain current restrictions on bar seating, congregating

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that bar seating will remain prohibited in restaurants as the Commonwealth moves into Phase Three at midnight tonight. While key health indicators in Virginia are improving, the Governor made clear that he is taking a cautious approach and is prepared to implement tighter restrictions if needed.

To reduce the likelihood of patrons gathering in bar areas without observing social distancing guidelines, bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed except for those passing through. Restaurants may use non-bar seating in the bar area, as long as a minimum of six feet between tables is provided.

“I am watching what is happening in other states—we are taking a cautious approach as we enter Phase Three and maintaining the current restrictions on bar areas,” said Governor Northam. “In Virginia, our hospitalization rates have fallen, our percentage of positive tests continues to trend downward, and we are conducting more than 10,000 tests each day. We want these trends to continue, but if our public health metrics begin moving in the wrong direction, I will not hesitate to take action to protect the health and safety of our communities.”

Virginia is currently averaging more than 10,400 tests per day—exceeding Governor Northam’s goal—and hospitals continue to report ample supplies of personal protective equipment. The percentage of positive tests has dropped to six percent from a high of 20 percent in mid-April. The number of Virginians hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test has declined significantly over the past several weeks, and more than 1,200 contact tracers are presently working throughout the Commonwealth.

Despite these positive trends, Governor Northam is monitoring increases in several states, and taking proactive steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia. Governor Northam also continues to remind Virginians that they are safer at home, especially if they are high-risk or vulnerable. All Virginians must continue to comply with the statewide face covering requirement in indoor public spaces, and Virginians are strongly encouraged to:

  • continue teleworking if possible
  • wash hands regularly
  • maintain six feet of physical distance when outside of home
  • get tested immediately if you have COVID-19 symptoms

     

Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven is available here. Read the order in Spanish here.

Sector-specific guidelines for Phase Three can be found here. View this document in Spanish here.

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Library Announces Phased Reopening

 The Meherrin Regional Library closed to the public on March 18th in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the governor’s stay at home orders. Since then the library has been working behind the scenes to bring books and services back to the community. While closed, the library staff have been preparing library facilities to promote social distancing; acquiring PPE for enhanced cleaning of books and other surfaces; converting the annual Summer Reading Program into a virtual experience; increasing online ebooks, newspapers, magazines and other offerings; installing contact-free locker pick up services; and developing plans to meet the community’s needs in a new normal.

Starting Monday, June 29th MRLS will be reopening its doors again to welcome patrons back to the library. The Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia, will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM until further notice (closed July 3rd for Independence Day). On closed days each library will continue to provide contact-free locker service and will be using that time to adapt to developing needs and sanitizing surfaces.

Face coverings and hand sanitizing will be required for all visitors entering library facilities during this initial reopening phase. Each library will have a ten patron building capacity. Because of this restriction the library suggests that patrons limit their visit to 30 minutes. Copier, fax, and scan services will be available as well as 30 minute public computer and printer sessions. Walk-ins are welcomed, however library use appointments will be accepted to minimize potential wait times.

For questions concerning library services contact the Richardson Memorial Library at 434-634-2539 or richardsonmemoriallibrary@gmail.com. The Brunswick County Library may be contacted at 434-848-2418, ext. 301 or brunswicklibrary@gmail.com. MRLS is also found on Facebook at Meherrin Regional Library System.

SVCC Announces 2020 Fall Semester Plans

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will resume a full schedule of classes this fall beginning August 24th. In what the college is terming its “HyFlex” approach to course delivery, class options (depending on needs of each discipline) may include a mix of in-person instruction, expanded online offerings, and a new “Zoom to Home” option.

Instruction will comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for physical distancing, hygiene and safety. “While priority for in-person instruction will be performance-based classes and labs that cannot be delivered online, additional seated courses will be offered as room availability allows. SVCC's Fast Forward workforce programs will be offered in small groups.

The college's flexible approach allows for appropriate social distancing, while making alternatives available for those students who do not have adequate high-speed internet at home and, therefore, would not be able to participate in online or at-home Zoom classes.

According to Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, SVCC President, "SVCC's partnership with communities to establish off-campus centers, in addition to our Alberta and Keysville college locations, is a real benefit at this unprecedented time in our history. It allows the college to offer students the flexibility to utilize classroom space and computer labs and to access high speed internet at various locations across the college's 4,200 square mile service area, while complying with the appropriate guidelines."

Aware that the outlook can change, Dr. Johnson says, "We will remain nimble and adjust as needed. SVCC's COVID-19 Task Force has a plan in place to pivot back to fully remote and online options if public health and safety requires it." Dr. Johnson is quick to point out that it will not be business as usual at SVCC. At all SVCC locations face coverings will be required, classrooms have been reconfigured to comply with social distancing, and there will be limited access to facilities.

Times have changed, but SVCC is still open for business and remains committed to assisting our students in every way possible. More information is available at Southside.edu or by calling 434-949-1000.

Governor Northam Outlines Phase Three Guidelines to Lift Additional Public Health Restrictions

Virginia will continue to closely monitor key health metrics to determine when to safely move to next phase

FAIRFAX—Governor Ralph Northam today presented the third phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to continue easing public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The Commonwealth does not yet have a targeted date for entering Phase Three.

Ahead of his bilingual COVID-19 press conference, the Governor met with local Latino leaders and community activists in Northern Virginia to discuss the issues they are facing in fighting this virus. Latino Virginians make up 45.3 percent of the cases for which Virginia has demographic data, and 35 percent of hospitalizations—even though Hispanic and Latino people make up about 10 percent of the Commonwealth’s population.

As many states are experiencing a surge in new infections, Virginia’s case counts continue to trend downward. Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of individuals hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continues to decline as testing increases. The Governor and Virginia public health officials will continue to evaluate data based on the key health indicators laid out in April.

“Our Phase Three guidelines will help Virginia families and businesses plan for what the next stage of easing public health restrictions will look like in our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “While we may not have the same spike in infections that many states are seeing right now, Virginians need to remain cautious and do the things that we know reduce transmission: wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and stay home if you are high-risk or experience COVID-19 symptoms. This virus is still with us, and we must continue to adapt our lives around it and ensure we are keeping our vulnerable communities safe.”

In Phase Three, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing and teleworking, and the requirement that individuals wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals allowed in social gatherings will increase from 50 to 250 people. All businesses should continue to follow physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and keep enhanced workplace safety measures in place. 

Restaurant and beverage establishments are required to maintain six feet of distance between tables, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 75 percent occupancy, and recreation and entertainment venues at may operate at 50 percent occupancy, or a maximum of 1,000 persons. Swimming pools may also expand operations to free swim in addition to indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction. Overnight summer camps will remain closed in Phase Three.

Phase Three guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Phase Two guidelines are available here. Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Read the Phase Three guidelines in Spanish here.

View the slides from today’s presentation here.

Beware Coronavirus Scams

Scammers thrive in crises. The Federal Trade Commission is reporting a surge in fraud complaints. Bad actors are leveraging fear and shortages to bilk consumers out of millions and to harvest information for identity fraud.

Help your loved one avoid scammers by following these tips.

Research requests for donations. Verify the nonprofit on Guidestar.org, the registry that provides financial reporting on all registered 501c3 organizations. Be especially wary if the request is “urgent” and for payment by gift card or prepaid debit card.

Ignore social media ads, texts, or emails selling

  • cures or vaccines. Relief is months, maybe a year or more away. Look for an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and get a prescription from the doctor.
  • hard-to-find supplies. From gloves to toilet paper, surgical masks to hand sanitizers. Amazon and Facebook are working hard to block gougers and bogus sellers. Pay attention to the star ratings of sellers and look for complaints of supplies never being received.
  • stock deals. Many fraudsters offer great investment deals on stock that is “going to take off” with the latest cure, test, or vaccine. Unfortunately, they have bought the stock already. When demand drives the price up, they sell. The price then plummets and investors get stuck with the loss. 

Hang up on robocalls asking for money or information. The federal government never uses this method of communication. Neither do other credible organizations. It’s the medium of scammers.

Do not click on emailed links or download files from organizations you do not know. Many fraudsters are looking to insert malware on your computer to harvest information for identity theft. Even if the email seems genuine and the website looks like a government or reputable organization, do a Google search to find the real domain name. (Cybercriminals set up a mirror site at redcross.net, for instance. The actual address for the Red Cross is redcross.org).

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