Gov. Update: Cases Continue to Go Up, Virginians Still Urged to Stay Home

Governor Northam continues or urge Virginians to stay home and to only venture out for essential work, food, supplies or medical care. He says the number of people with coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to rise -- 604 cases as of Mar. 27 -- and that this will be the case for the next several weeks.

He says the state's medical systems need time to prepare to increase capacity and stockpile necessary equipment and supplies, and to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Virginia hospitals have approximately 2,000 ICU beds currently.

Northam says COVID-19 affects all ages, not just the elderly, pointing out that 16% of Virginia's cases are in people aged 20-29.

The Governor says there still aren't enough testing supplies or personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical staff. He says states are bidding against states to get PPE, and that production and distribution needs to be managed on the federal level.

Northam says several Virginia manufacturers are now making necessary equipment and that inmates in the Department of Corrections have been making face guards.

Any company with supplies to donate can go here.

Also, any formerly or currently licensed medical professional in the state who would like to volunteer is asked to sign up with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps at vamrc.org.

Gov. Northam also called for the federal government to establish testing sites for federal workers in the Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland metro areas since there are so many essential workers.

State Finance Secretary, Aubrey Layne, said that with today's passage of the federal stimulus package, Virginia will receive $3.3 billion in emergency aid. About $1.3 billion of that will be distributed to Virginia's localities.

More on this story from our media partner, ABC 13 -WSET.

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