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Purcellville News Flash

Posted on: May 12, 2020

News Release - Loudoun County and Northern VA Request Delay in Phase 1 Reopening of VA Due to . . .

PURCELLVILLE, Va., May 12, 2020 — On Friday, May 8, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Sixty One, which eases the temporary restrictions due to COVID-19 beginning on Friday, May 15, 2020, at 12 a.m.  The issuance of Order 61 marks the entrance of Virginia into Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19.  This new executive order modifies the public health guidance in Executive Orders Fifty-Three and Fifty-Five, and provides guidelines for Phase One.  However, the plan does allow localities to consider delaying implementation of Phase One guidelines based on local health data and statics. 


On Sunday, May 10, 2020, a Joint Regional Reopening Letter was sent to Governor Northam on behalf of the Mayors and Chairs of the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and the City of Alexandria urging the Governor to examine the medical data of the Northern Virginia Region prior to allowing entrance into Phase One.  The correspondence to Governor Northam included a letter to the State Health Commissioner from the Health Directors of the five County and City CAO’s representing the Northern Virginia communities, which stated: “Based on our assessment, we do not believe that the Northern Virginia region has met the criteria for moving into Phase 1 at this time. We recommend continuing current community mitigation strategies and reassessing this on a regular basis to determine when Northern Virginia can move into Phase 1 according to these criteria (and any additional agreed upon criteria).” 


The letter outlined the five threshold metrics release by the Governor’s Office for a transition into Phase 1:


Downward trend of positive tests over a period of 14 days

Downward trend of hospitalizations over a period of 14 days

Enough hospital beds and intensive care capacity

Increasing and sustainable supply of PPE

Increased testing and tracing


The following table is the assessment against the metrics issued on April 24:

Metric

Met or Unmet

Health Directors’ Comments

Moving downward: Percentage of positive tests over 14 days

Unable to assess

As of May 4, the data shows that Northern Virginia (NOVA) is higher than the rest of Virginia: 27% for NOVA and 18% for all of Virginia (the latter is inclusive of NOVA)


Without additional information, we cannot assess whether it has gone down over the past 14 days


We have asked Virginia Department of Health for this data (including past data)

Moving downward: Hospitlizations over 14 days

Unmet

*See chart below:

“Hospitalizations over the 14-day period for NOVA, outside of NOVA and all of VA”

(see suggestion below)

Increased testing

Unable to assess

Currently only have baseline

We have asked Virginia Department of Health for this data (including past data)

Increased (contact) tracing (capacity)

Unmet

Infrastructure is not yet in place to respond to every new case, trace and actively monitor their close contacts, and coordinate testing for symptomatic contacts

Enough hospital beds and intensive care capacity

Unable to assess

Available critical care beds continue to decrease but still fall within normal operating capacity

Note: there is 20% surge capacity that is not yet utilized

(See suggestion below)

Increasing and sustainable supply of PPE

Unmet

Met: PPE for hospitals appears to be adequate at this time

Unmet: PPE for outpatient facilities (private practices, long-term care facilities and first responders) continues to be a challenge


*COVID-19 Hospitalizations over the past 14 Days – Northern Outside of Northern Virginia and all of Virginia,


The Mayors and Chairs who were signatory to the letter to the Governor concluded:

“While it is certainly useful to examine statewide metrics as we gauge the success of current public health policies, we feel strongly that any changes to current policies be guided by what is occurring in our region. We eagerly wish to rebuild our economy and help our residents recover. It is only through our regional achievement of these milestones

that we will be positioned to avoid a more damaging return to business closures later in the summer.”


View the data, graphs and charts https://www.loudoun.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=5768 from the joint letter issued by Loudoun County and the four other Health Directors in Northern Virginia as well as the full text of Loudoun County’s May 10, 2020 News Release and associated letters.


The Governor plans to discuss the Phase 1 postponement for Loudoun County and Northern Virginia on Wednesday, May 13th at 2:00 PM, where he will be joined by officials from the Northern Virginia communities.


For additional Coronavirus information please visit the Town of Purcellville website at

https://www.purcellvilleva.gov/944/Information-about-the-Coronavirus or visit the Loudoun County Health Department website: www.loudoun.gov/coronavirus. Residents may also text LCCOVID19 to 888777 receive text alerts from Loudoun County about Coronavirus.

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