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  • The Virginia Department of Health 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.
  • On March 7, 2020 the first case of COVID-19 in Virginia was announced.
  • COVID-19 has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally.
  • On March 11, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
  • On March 12, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • On March 23, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 53 that orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam also urged all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. Food establishments are mandated to offer curbside takeout and delivery service only, or close to the public. This order went into effect at 11:59PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59PM on Thursday, April 23. The full text of the order can be found here and additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here.
  • On March 25, Governor Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA today directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). The full text of Order of Public Health Emergency Two is available here. The Order expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday April 30, 2020.
  • View the Frequently Asked Questions guide on Resuming Non-Urgent Procedures.
  • On March 30, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 55, a statewide Stay at Home order. The executive order took effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020. The order directed all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.
  • As of March 31, VDH is reporting widespread community transmission across the state. This means that COVID-19 is spreading within communities across Virginia.
  • Effective May 15, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 61 and Order of Public Health Emergency Three, which outlines the Phase One easing of certain temporary restrictions due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with the exception of several localities, including the Northern Virginia Region, the City of Richmond, and Accomack County, which have requested a delay. Supplemental Guidelines for All Business Sectors outline the guidance for all business sectors.
  • Effective June 5, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 65 which allows most of Virginia to enter the second phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan. As amended in Executive Order 61, Northern Virginia and Richmond City will remain in Phase One. Under Phase Two, 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 will increase from 10 to 50 people. Supplemental Guidelines for All Business Sectors outline the updated guidance for all businesses. In general, restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.
  • 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 and capacity requirements, click here.
  • 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. However, for restaurants, bar seating will remain prohibited. Salons and barber shops are also 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. Under Phase Three, the size of public gatherings increases from 50 people to 250 people.
  • The emergency temporary standards, infectious disease preparedness and response plan templates, and training guidance will be 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 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 underlying conditions
  • It is important to maintain good social distance (at least 6 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 cloth face covering when around others in public places.  These all are very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Limit close contact with others outside your household in both indoor AND outdoor spaces.  You should think about wearing a face covering in outdoor settings if you will be in a crowd of people and can’t stay 6 feet away.
  • 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.
  • 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 and want to get tested for COVID-19, 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 investigation criteria.
  • Executive Order 51 "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/