RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam gave an update on the coronavirus outbreak in Virginia on Tuesday.
House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, who has been critical of Gov. Northam’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the discussed kidnapping of Northam.
“We’re glad to know that these idiots were picked up by law enforcement before they could hurt anyone,” Gilbert said.
Northam said he would not take questions or make any additional comments about the situation because it is still an ongoing investigation. However, the governor said he and the first lady are safe and in no immediate danger.
“I will not work under a cloud of intimidation … I was elected to serve the Commonwealth and that’s what I will do,” Northam said.
Today was also Northam’s first public appearance since testing positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 25. Northam and first lady Pamela, who also tested positive, have been cleared by health officials to come out of isolation.
Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments, said people who test positive for the virus are no longer contagious after 10 days.
While more than 60 members of Northam’s staff had to self-quarantine, the governor said none of them tested positive for COVID-19. Northam attributed this to their strict mask policy.
VDH reported 160,805 cases of the virus and 3,372 deaths from COVID-19 across the Commonwealth — that is 1,235 new cases and 11 new deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours.
Northam said the state’s percent positivity has been trending downwards and now sits below 5 percent. This is the second day in a row that VDH reported the 7-day average at 4.5 percent.
While the numbers are not increasing, Northam said people shouldn’t get complacent. He said, with the weather cooling down, people will not want to gather outside as much. However, the virus spreads more indoors.
“But I know we can stay strong and continue to get through this in the winter,” he said.
Northam also discussed how the state’s technology provider is managing outages triggered on Tuesday after a Verizon fiber cable was cut during a roadside utility project in Chester, Virginia. The accident caused various state agency websites to go down, including Virginia’s online voter registration, on the last day to complete the application.
Northam said he does not have the authority to extend the voter registration deadline under Virginia law. He said this action would likely have to come from the courts.
“I look forward to [the courts] assisting us and making sure we can extend the deadline,” he said.
Virginia Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner said they hope to have a temporary solution in place by 4 p.m.
You can watch the full press conference below:
- Across the nation every American adult is now eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, and challenges exist ahead to reach herd immunity.
- The State Department on Monday urged Americans reconsider any international travel they may have planned and said it would issue specific warnings not to visit roughly 80% of the world's countries due to risks from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Virginians over the age of 16 are now able to book their appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine without waiting on an invitation from the health department.
- What does your body do when you get a vaccine? Your immune system responds to the foreign molecules that make up any vaccine via two different systems.
- The New Kent County COVID-19 vaccine clinic is closing in May. The clinic, located at New Kent High School, has been open for more than three months.
- Coronavirus update: 25% of Virginia's population fully vaccinated; Residents over 16 eligible for vaccineVirginia is getting 77,983 COVID-19 vaccine doses into arms each day on average. According to the state’s health department, more than 5.3 million doses have been administered in Virginia.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, hinted that there could soon be changes to the COVID-19 health policy on face masks.
- All adults in the U.S. should be eligible for coronavirus vaccines starting Monday after President Joe Biden announced a deadline for states to expand eligibility.
- This morning, the Virginia Department of Health will be issuing a message alerting everyone 16+ they are now eligible to register for the shot under Phase 2.
- Petersburg City Public Schools announced that two students at Cool Spring Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19.