Virginia meat processing plants get CDC oversight team, Gov. Northam updates

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VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Gov. Ralph Northam spoke at 2 p.m. Monday to give an update on concerns with virus spread in Virginia’s meat processing plants, as well as updates to testing capacity, vaccinations and more.

Northam addressed concerns regarding virus spread in meat processing plants in Virginia, as well as nearby in Delaware and Maryland. He says Virginia companies are taking safety measures to protect its workers, but he’s concerned about the rise in cases among employees at the plants.

On Friday evening, he and the governors of Maryland and North Carolina requested help from President Trump. A CDC team of epidemiologists and contact tracers, and language specialists who can speak Haitian Creole are now working with the local health departments to assess the situations at a meat processing plant in the Eastern Shore, Northam said during his Monday update.

He said they’re following developments at the smaller poultry processing plant in the Shenandoah Valley.

Northam also announced on Monday that Virginia received a $2 million grant to provide critical behavioral health services, including substance abuse help.

Watch his full April 27 announcement:

Previous updates

Virginia Economy

Last week, Northam announced a task force made up of business representatives to advise the state administration on reopening the economy. However, he said reopening any businesses will still take at least two weeks.

Virginia Elections

Northam also postponed elections, using his authority as governor which allows him to order that elections be postponed by two weeks without interference with the state House or Senate. Signing Executive Order 59, Northam moved the general and special elections originally scheduled for May 5, 2020, now to be held on May 19, 2020.

Before that, he moved the primary election in Virginia from June 9, 2020 to now being held on June 23, 2020. Voters have until June 16 to request an absentee ballot, and the deadline to submit that absentee ballot is June 23 at 7 p.m.

Statewide court hearing freeze

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court has extended its statewide freeze on non-emergency court hearings because of the coronavirus epidemic. The Daily Press reported Saturday that the order delays most court cases until May 17. It’s the court’s third emergency order, and the second extension so far. The first extension was set to expire Monday. State courts have already postponed thousands of cases that were scheduled for May. The court’s order says that “emergencies” can generally go forward. They include arraignments, bail hearings, protective order hearings and emergency child custody hearings.

Coronavirus case data via Virginia Dept. of Health – April 27

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