COVID-19 United States

Limited State of Emergency Declared in Virginia for Omicron Surge

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a limited state of emergency for hospitals due to the ongoing pandemic.

It is a 30-day state-of-emergency order that seeks to expand capacity and increase staffing at hospitals. While Gov.-elect Youngkin could rescind the emergency order after he takes office on Saturday, Gov. Northam believes Gov.-elect Youngkin will also support the continuation of the order.

Gov.-elect Youngkin’s spokesman said that Youngkin does support the use of tailored executive action to remove staffing barriers and provide flexibility to deliver high quality care.

These removals include limitations on bed capacity, providing those with active licenses and in good standing to practice in Virginia. Furthermore, there will be more flexibility with regards to vaccine administration and will prevent price-gouging for at-home antigen test kits.

A 30-day state of emergency is also in effect in Maryland, and D.C. Hospital Association is also calling on D.C. to reactive a health emergency.

About 90 percent of Virginian adults and 78 percent of all Virginians have had at least one dose of vaccine, although the advised dosage is both vaccine + the booster.

Northam said that most overwhelming the hospital systems are those that are not fully vaccinated or boosted. On Friday, Virginia hit a peak 3,329 hospitalization, beating out the record of 3,201 on January 13, 2021. COVID-related hospitalizations are up 200 percent.

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