Team Norfolk Partners -
Virginia now has 254 confirmed cases and six fatalities out of the 3,700 tests performed. What is more important than the current numbers, however, is the need to position ourselves for the worst-case scenario. The actions already taken, I believe, have been impactful in helping to “flatten the curve”, but we expect the curve to continue to rise. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adam stated as much by saying “this week, it will be bad.”
Here in the Commonwealth, Governor Northam during his daily briefing ordered schools closed for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, he signed Executive Order 53, to go into effect at midnight tomorrow, which states the following:
- Restaurants and breweries can remain open for take-out, curbside pickup and delivery only.
- Recreation and entertainment services are to be closed. This includes bowling alleys, fitness centers, racetracks and theaters.
- Personal care services which cannot adhere to social distancing such as barber shops and hair salons, spas and massage parlors must close.
- Essential businesses like grocery stores, banks, pharmacies and others remain open, but must ensure enhanced cleaning and social distancing strategies.
- Non-essential brick and mortar stores can remain open so long as they can comply with the 10 patrons or less.
- Any gatherings greater than 10 people are banned.
These measures, all meant to encourage social distancing, are in effect for the next 30 days.
Governor Northam also discussed the issue (gap) of daycare options for essential workers with a call for support for this mission. Guidance for emergency daycare policies will be forthcoming by the state.
I’m thrilled to report the amazing women and men of Norfolk Public Schools made sure 1,768 children did not go hungry today! And for anyone who doesn’t know from where their next meal will come, they should text FOOD or COMIDA to 877877 to learn about local feeding sites.
For businesses in our community, Norfolk Economic Development and the Department of Communications published information on the City’s website to raise awareness and otherwise help navigate various assistance programs. https://norfolkdevelopment.com/covid-19-updates-for-norfolk-businesses/.
Resource-wise, all requests have been acted on or otherwise in progress. If you have a need, or you're curious as to the status of a request, please let us know at EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov. And let me take this opportunity to thank once again Hannah Slusher and the Operation Blessing U.S. Disaster Relief Team who has reached out yet again to donate 25 more Home Depot buckets full of cleaning supplies to the City. In fact, a big thanks to all who have contacted us with offers of support! #OneTeam.
Tuesday’s Weather: Tomorrow will be a little breezy with cooler temps in the low to mid 50’s. No rain forecasted until the evening hours.
The Governor concluded his briefing by stating we’ve entered, and many have already felt, a period of sacrifice. The expectation should be that this is the new normal for the foreseeable future. Months, not weeks. The impacts will be significant and we will continue to research, pursue and make sense of any and all assistance programs for our residents and businesses. To be sure, while necessary, it is not Federal assistance alone that will help us get through this. It’s our unity of mission and effort, individual self-care and looking out for each other.
Thank you and have a good night,
Jim Redick, Director
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response