Northam finalizes $27 million contract for much-needed PPEs

As the coronavirus (COVID 19) continues to spread across the commonwealth, the state has made arrangements to prepare for a surge of more cases.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday Virginia has finalized a $27 million contract for more personal protective equipment with Northfield, a Virginia-based logistics company. The first shipment arrives from Asia in a week.

There are 2,878 positive cases and 54 deaths statewide. At least eight people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath District have died from the coronavirus.

The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services is building genetic technology to build a library of information based on positive coronavirus cases from state, private and university labs. DCLS is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, International Public Health and university partners.

“One thing they have already learned, it appears that the virus was introduced in Virginia in multiple communities,” Northam said.

He said another contract is with SD truckings who will handle logistics and distribution of 56,000 Meals-Ready-To-Eat to food banks, which will supply them for the next six weeks.

Besides shipping out hand sanitizers, Northam said Virginia Health Department will ship out 1 million old H1N1 masks to the hospital association, and the VDH will send a third round of supplies from national stockpile to Virginia hospitals.

Brian Moran, the state’s secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security, said the PPE shipment includes n95 masks, gloves and gowns.

Health care

  • PPE contract- will order more supplies.
  • Rapid testing:- 10-20 available, test kits are not.
  • Face coverings: CDC issued new guidelines to wear cloth face coverings in public, ie, going to the grocery store. Wash mask once a day; no citations for wearing masks in public.
  • Private labs: Reduction in backlog.
  • Sentara: In house testing available.
  • Recovery numbers: Officials said the data is not collected.
  • More hospital sites? Not at this time.
  • State mandated PPE for staff in long-term care facilities? Not at this time.

Other updates

  • Social distancing: Northam said nearly half of cases are people younger than 50.
  • Construction projects: Adhere to social distancing, ie six feet apart.
  • Modeling expected surge capacity: New report this week.
  • Jail reduction: 2,351 inmates parole eligible; 95 were released in March; 90-95 percent of population are incarcerated for violent offenses.
  • Non-essential business: Can stay open if social distancing rules and 10 or less people or more is maintained.

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