Governor Northam declares state of emergency as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise

Governor Northam has announced a state of emergency for hospitals in Virginia. (WY Daily file)

STATE – Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency for the next 30 days in response to the high number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

During his last press briefing as governor, which took place on Monday, January 10, Northam announced that he had issued a 30-day limited order primarily to increase the number of available hospital beds and increase staff hospitals.

On Friday, Jan. 7, Virginia hit a record high number of hospitalizations with 3,329 newly hospitalized COVID-19 patients, as reported by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. This number breaks a record set in January 2021 when the vaccines had just been distributed.

“It creates real strain on people who work in hospitals,” Northam said during Monday’s briefing. “Doctors and nurses worked tirelessly for 22 months to care for those who fell ill. I say tirelessly, but that’s not really the right word, because they are tired. They are exhausted and exhausted.

The 30-day duration is based on data modeling that suggests the virus is expected to peak in early February.

Northam urged the public to take steps to keep themselves and others safe, including getting vaccinated and wearing masks around others.

Later in the briefing, Northam also said schools were not expected to return to virtual learning, saying students learn best in person. He also encouraged parents to have their children aged 5 and over vaccinated to make them safer in school.

It was Northam’s last briefing before Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin was sworn in on Saturday, January 15.

For more resources, please click on the links below:

  • To learn more or to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, contact your health care provider or visit the Vaccinate Virginia website.
  • For more information on current COVID-19 vaccinations, visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
  • To find the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
  • To view the current COVID-19 map courtesy of Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, click here.

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