TOPLINE UPDATES 

• Phase One is beginning in much of the state today.

o “Entering Phase One does not mean we can start to behave how we used to.” 

• Yesterday, Governor Northam approved a request similar to that of Northern Virginia leaders to delay the beginning of Phase One in the City of Richmond and Accomack County.

o The following areas will now plan to enter Phase One on May 28:

 Counties of Accomack, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William 

 Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Richmond 

 Towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg, and Vienna 

HOSPITALS, PPE AND TESTING 

• PCR tests and antibody tests have been disaggregated in VDH data reports, and will now be reported separately.

o This change has not had an effect on testing trends, with testing numbers still increasing and positive case numbers still decreasing. 

o Antibody tests currently make up about 9% of the total tests administered in Virginia. 

• Virginia now has 215 testing sites, with 52 new sites currently being prepared to open.

o This includes hospitals, free clinics, pharmacies, and more. 

• $121 million has been appropriated through VDEM for purchase of PPE.

o This includes an additional $32.3 million for testing. 

• The VDH has received close to 4,000 applications for contact tracers as they ramp up this ability in each health district.

o Onboarding plans for these new workers are being finalized. 

COVID-19 CASES, STATISTICS AND MODELING 

• Total cases: 28,672

o 859 new in the last 24-hour reporting period 

• Total deaths: 977

o 22 new in the last 24-hour reporting period 

• 4,586 cases (23%) have been reported in the African American community.

o This includes 207 deaths, about 24% of Virginia’s total. 

• 8,466 cases (44%) have been reported in the Latino community.

o This includes 76 deaths, about 10% of the total. 

STATE REVENUE REPORT 

• The first monthly revenue report that shows the impact of COVID-19 closures on Virginia’s economy was completed yesterday. 

• April revenue collection was down 26%, which is $700 million less than usual. 

The current prediction is that Virginia will see a loss of about $1 billion by the end of June. 

• Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne says that Virginia’s economic activity “held up well,” likely due to the strength of the economy before COVID-19.

o This has not been a “total shutdown” of economic activity. 

• Twenty percent of revenue comes from sales taxes, which remained steady throughout the month of April.

o This reflects a successful move from in-person purchases to socially distanced purchases. 

• The majority of revenue loss for the month of April is due to the extension of the tax filing deadline from May 1 to June 1.

o The picture of the true state of the economy will become more clear as tax payments come in. 

• $650 million from the CARES Act is expected to be distributed to localities by June 1.

o These funds can be used to offset costs directly related to the COVID-19 response

OTHER TOPICS 

• Governor Northam continues to encourage Virginians to vote through absentee ballot in next week’s local elections.

o Younger, less at-risk, members of the National Guard and the Volunteer Medical Corps are being used to staff polling places in the place of older people who may be more at-risk of contracting the virus. 

o The state will also provide PPE and cleaning equipment for all polling places and staffers. 

• A lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections citing cruel and unusual punishment during the COVID-19 outbreak has been dismissed.

o Secretary Brian Moran ensures the public that the Department of Corrections is following all CDC guidelines, including efforts to maintain separation of inmates. 

Next briefing: Monday, May 18 at 2:00PM. 

NOTE: This is an informal and timely summary of the Governor’s live press briefing. To access recordings of the briefings, visit https://www.facebook.com/GovernorVA/. To access the Governor’s official news releases, visit https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/

Provided by Commonwealth Strategy Group for the Virginia Press Association.

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