Covid-19 and VA Governance

Covid-19 and VA Governance

Top News

Why Covid-19 testing was delayed in VA for weeks
Virginia Mercury, Kate Masters, May 1, 2020 (Medium)

Supply shortages and poor coordination delayed COVID-19 testing in Virginia for weeks

Amid continued concern over the shortage of COVID-19 testing in Virginia, several commercial labs have expressed surprise that their capacity for running tests remains above the demand for them.

Asked Wednesday why the state of Virginia couldn’t have contracted with private labs to boost testing capacity, former Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley — recently announced as co-director of Gov. Ralph Northam’s new testing task force — said that none were ready at the time when the state needed them most.

“One could have — but those labs were not available to test,” she said. “Four or five weeks ago, everybody was struggling to bring up their laboratories.”

A recent analysis by The Virginian-Pilot ranked Virginia’s testing rate lower than nearly every other state other than Kansas and Arizona. The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center shows that the number of tests administered in Virginia trails nearby states — including Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and Tennessee — by several thousand.

Northam urges ‘larger role’ for feds on worker safety
Virginia Mercury, By Sarah Vogelsong , April 30, 2020 (Short)

Northam urges ‘larger role’ for feds on poultry worker safety but advocates press state to step up

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order Tuesday invoking the Defense Production Act to ensure meat processing facilities remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam is calling on the administration to provide additional assistance to protect plant workers.

“If we declare that workers at meat processing plants are essential, then it is imperative that we continue to support their health and well-being,” said Northam at his regular Wednesday press conference.

“I sincerely hope that with this executive order, the president is signaling that the federal government will play a much larger role in keeping the employees of these meat processing plants safe and provide federal support to ensure every worker has protection, i

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