Northam provides May 1 update for COVID-19 in Virginia


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VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Gov. Ralph Northam gave an update to Virginia’s response to COVID-19 on Friday, May 1. He said he will provide more information on the state’s reopening on Monday, but focused on increased testing as his update for Friday. He said Virginia is already further along in reopening than other states are at this time.

A major focus of his announcements earlier this week has been protecting employees of meat processing plants in Virginia, specifically along the eastern shore. However, he said they are also keeping an eye on concerns for the smaller plants in the Shenandoah Valley.

Local hospital officials have reported a spike in COVID-19 cases at the Perdue poultry processing plant on the Eastern Shore Wednesday April 29, 2020, in Accomac, Va. Coronavirus cases among workers at poultry plants on Virginia’s Eastern Shore have become an increasing concern for local health officials. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

He, along with Maryland’s governor and Delaware’s governor, wrote a letter to the Trump administration requesting a CDC team to inspect the meat processing plants. The team consists of epidemiologists and even language specialists who speak Haitian Creole – the first language of many employees at these plants, Northam said last week.

In a tweet yesterday, the governor said “they [the CDC team] are working with our local health departments to track cases, increase safety procedures, and implement mitigation measures.”

Watch the full replay of Gov. Northam’s May 1 update:

Unemployment in Virginia (AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than a half-million Virginians have filed unemployment claims since the coronavirus outbreak hit the state last month. That’s according to new federal data released Thursday. A report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed more than 74,000 Virginians filed unemployment claims last week. That marks the third straight week totals have dipped since weekly claims reached a record-setting nearly 150,000 in the week ending April 4. Still, it’s far higher than before the crisis. Altogether in the past six weeks, about 570,000 people have filed for jobless benefits in Virginia. That’s about 13% of the state’s workforce.


Coronavirus cases in Virginia: May 1

Data reported by the Virginia Department of Health

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