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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is responding to the outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), that is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The outbreak was first detected in China in December 2019, and on March 7, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in Virginia was announced. Governor Northam declared a State of Emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 12, 2020. COVID-19 has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally.

  • Effective July 1, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 67 and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven, which allow Virginia to enter the third phase of the “Forward Virginia” Plan. The Phase Three Guidelines for All Business Sectors specifically outline the guidance for all businesses during this stage of reopening. With Phase Three:
    • Stores, restaurants and bars no longer have capacity limits, but distancing of at least six feet is still required. For restaurants, bar seating will remain prohibited.
    • Salons and barber shops are allowed to operate at full capacity with distancing requirements. 
    • Movie theaters, bowling alleys, and other indoor entertainment venues can reopen at 50% capacity. 
    • Gyms, fitness centers, and pools can have an operating capacity of 75%.
    • Amusement parks and other entertainment venues can operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 1,000 people. 
    • The size of public gatherings increases from 50 people to a maximum of 250 people.
  • The emergency temporary standards, infectious disease preparedness and response plan templates, and training guidance are posted on the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry website at doli.virginia.gov. Workers who feel unsafe in their workplace can file a formal complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration here.
  • As of June 15, to file an online complaint about Executive Order 63 (Face Coverings) and Executive Order 65 (Phase Two easing of certain restrictions) related only to cloth face coverings (masks) and capacity requirements, click here.
  • For more information about Executive Orders issued by Governor Northam related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Virginia, click here. To read more about the guidelines for each phase of the “Forward Virginia” Plan, click here
  • As of March 31, VDH reported widespread community transmission across the state. This means that COVID-19 is spreading within communities across Virginia.
  • As localities in Virginia begin to gradually ease restrictions in place for COVID-19, VDH urges all Virginians to stay safe. The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible. This is especially important for people at higher risk of severe illness, such as older adults and people of any age with certain underlying conditions
  • It is important to maintain good social distance (at least six feet) between yourself and others. Wash your hands often, stay home if you are sick, and disinfect high-touch surfaces. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others in public places.  These all are very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Remember that if you have COVID-19, have any signs or symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay home and away from other people to prevent spreading illness to others.
  • COVID-19 is changing things about our lives and our daily activities. Sometimes this can cause stress for ourselves and our families. If you are experiencing challenges dealing with these changes in your life due to COVID-19, a no-cost, anonymous “warm” line is now available. Callers can receive emotional support and referrals for mental and behavioral health and other services.  Unlike 911, which is used only for emergencies, a warm line offers support and gives people the chance to talk about their struggles and mental health.  The COVID-19 Support Warm Line number is: 

(877) 349-6428 Toll Free 

(call or text)

9:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M. Monday - Friday

5:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday

Spanish speaking counselors are available. 

  • Staying at home as much as possible can help to protect you and others from COVID-19. However, home may not be a safe place if you or someone you know are experiencing family or sexual violence or abuse. Below are free and confidential resources available 24 hours a day to call for help and support.  For immediate emergencies, call 911.

Family Violence and Sexual Assault Virginia Hotline: 1-800-838-8238

LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-866-356-6998

There are also instant messaging and text options available if it isn’t safe to talk on the phone. The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Virginia Hotline and the LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline have a confidential chat feature here, or you can text the hotlines at: 804-793-9999.

Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 800-552-7096

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and want to get tested, please contact your healthcare provider. Your provider may collect samples to test you or help you to find sampling sites in your area. Learn more about what to do if you feel sick. 
  • Private and hospital labs are increasing their capacity to test and offer other ways to test people who do not meet VDH testing criteria. VDH approval is not needed for testing at these laboratories. Clinicians should check with laboratory partners for testing availability. Testing performed at DCLS, Virginia’s state laboratory, is reserved for patients who meet VDH’s priority testing criteria.
  • To marshal all public resources and appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures, Executive Order 51 orders the “Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation, and enter into contracts without regard to normal procedures or formalities, and without regard to application or permit fees or royalties. All waivers issued by agencies shall be posted on their websites.”
  • For media inquiries about statewide COVID-19 efforts, please email covid19jic@vdem.virginia.gov and include your deadline.
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NOW HIRING

Contact Tracers

The Virginia Department of Health is recruiting for 1,200 contractors in these areas:

COVID-19 case investigator (district)

200 positions

COVID-19 contact tracer (district)

1,000 positions

COVID-19 testing coordinator (regional)

10 positions

COVID-19 contact tracing supervisor (regional)

10 positions

COVID-19 data manager (district)

70 positions

COVID-19 analytics coordinator (regional)

5 positions

 


VDH is still hiring contact tracers to stop the spread of COVID-19. Click here to see guidelines for applying.


If you are interested in any of these positions, please click the link below for a list of staffing agencies where you can apply. You should indicate that you want to apply for a COVID-19 position through the Virginia Department of Health.

VDH COVID-19 Staffing Agencies

Interested in volunteering? Please consider joining our Virginia Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 response team.  If you are passionate about your community’s health, we have a service opportunity for you. Click here to learn more.  https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/mrc/covid-19volunteer/