test one two one two guys out in the lobby can you hear us give me a thumbs up well good afternoon happy Friday to all of you and thanks for joining us today today I want to talk about our data that we follow daily and also testing first I'd like to remind everyone of how far we have come less than two months ago we faced the beginning of this pandemic our first positive kovat case was on March the 7th less than eight weeks ago we feared a surge in hospitalization that would overwhelm our IC use and our ventilator capacity we struggle to get enough PPE as well as supplies for testing and we were planning to build alternative care facilities I directed Virginians to stay home and many businesses temporarily closed or moved to telework and take out we stayed six feet apart and we waited to see if it worked and it has worked these actions have flattened that curve as we have often talked about our hospitals have not been overwhelmed hospitals have continued to have the ICU beds and the ventilators that they so desperately needed our case counts continue to climb but so does our testing we have slowed the spread but we are not out of the woods yet we must continue to move forward carefully testing is key to that I want to show Virginians where we are today then dr.
Karen Remley will take a deeper dive on how we are ramping up our testing we will make a full version of this presentation with closed captioning and sign language interpreting available after today's briefing and again thanks for being with us each day this is a chart of our daily cases in our cumulative cases as you can see the daily case number is rising that's the blue-gray F on the top but not drastically and that is good news we hope that soon we'll see that line go down and not up the bottom line the orange line is our daily cases and as you can see it fluctuates a bit but it is remaining fairly flat and we would certainly like to see that diminishing over the next day's two weeks our hospitalization rates remain steady this is an important slide graph that you all have seen before the yellow line on the top shows our hospital capacity the beds that we have available throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia the blue line on the bottom shows our Kovach cases in Virginia and as you see at it's stayed fairly flat and that by the way has is what allowed us to open up our hospitals today and our outpatient providers to be able to do elective surgeries one way we are boosting our PPE is by sanitizing what we already have and we made great progress with our PPE these pictures here show innovative new PPE cleaning systems from Patel these systems have multiple units that are each the size of a storage container and can clean up to 80, 000 masks per day using a hydrogen peroxide vapor PPE can be decontaminated and reused 20 times without degrading performance this will be a big help to our medical facilities and our first responders Virginia is receiving three of these from the federal government our first patel unit is being built in Blacksburg where we are sharing it with West Virginia and Tennessee we are starting to receive materials to build units in Richmond and in Hampton Roads we expect all of these systems to be operational within the next week once all three units are operational we will have the ability to decontaminate up to 240, 000 masks in the Commonwealth per day a stable supply of PPE is key to moving forward and you can see that we are in good shape and getting better every day another key that we've been talking about every day is our testing capability we have made tremendous progress on Wednesday we tested more than 5000 people our highest one-day number ever yesterday we grew that number to another new record testing more than 5, 800 people that's around a 15 percent increase in one day we're moving forward aggressively and I'd like to ask dr.
Karen Remley to explain how but I want to take this opportunity to thank dr.
Remley for helping with this project and also the various people that are volunteer and around the Commonwealth to include our National Guard that have really helped us ramp up the system so dr.
Remini welcome so as you can see this is just sort of the best way I think to be able to show everybody that when you talk about a test it is not just a test there are five steps that come into play and if we're gonna look at how we maximize testing we need to think about it from those five different perspectives I think the single most important one and you've heard the governor and the secretary say the first mile but it really is getting our patients to identify themselves as a patient who might have kovat to find a place to go get tested to talk to their health care provider and see if they need to be tested and then find a place to be able to go and get that that requires a number of things they need to know where to go they need to know why should I go and they need to know the outcome of when they receive that test we then also so we've looked at that and we've looked at how do we communicate how do we share you will see if you go to the website the Vth website there is a link to an interactive map where you can put in your zip code and any doctor any person from all over the state can see where their nearest public testing site is those are everything from at times a health department or an urgent care center or a hospital setting or a doctor's office we are increasing those numbers every day I was on the phone with the leading clinicians physicians in our state and they are committed to making sure those numbers continue to increase we need to make sure that our clinicians know how to test and many of you may know that yesterday well it actually was 29th now the CDC came out with new recommendations on how to test and that you can take a nasal swab I can put you I can have you have a mask on I have a mask on I covering a gown and gloves we stay 6 feet apart you put that nasal swab in your nose you put it into the tube you leave the room then I go back in and I collect that sample the advantage of that it uses much less PPE and much less restricted PPE it allows the individual to perform their own tests and we can do it in many more places so if you think about it we're going to be able to test not just in congregate settings and areas where you test a lot of people in a short period of time but in doctors offices and clinics across the state specimen collection when we move to the nasal specimen collection it's much easier because nasal swabs are easier to come by than nasal pharyngeal swabs and being able to test using different kinds of media they don't require storage and cold refrigerated makes a big difference to accessibility for lab tests we are as of today we will by the end of the day we will have contracted with two virginia labs and of north carolina lab to be able to increase our testing through the state up to 300 to 3, 000 additional tests a day as identified by priorities by the commissioner and then lastly test results making sure that not only do we have those results come back to the health department so that they can understand and track where our disease is and box it in and be able to think about reopening but our clinicians also know what to do and how to talk to that patient after they get that result back what does that mean for that patient that family that community as we remember this is the timeline we talked about when we first started talking about testing we are in as you can see phase two and we are very very quickly moving to the point where we will be in other phases I would tell you that where a lot of states talk about phase two we are already there from many different ways we've opened up very judiciously and carefully our healthcare system we have the health care community is now testing hospitals have agreed to either teach their clinicians how to test in their offices or provide testing availability for them so we're normalizing and getting testing out to the entire community we've said them from the very beginning that we needed more PPE we have that now then we said we needed more testing supplies we have that now now we're working on education and bringing people to the table so we'll talk more about those things yesterday going forward I think in the coming days and I think I think that's my last slide correct what make sure oh sorry the CDC priorities for testing I wanted to share those with you too because we've really focused on the high priorities we're now moving into all priorities the the Health Department of course and public health will continue to focus on high priority areas that have impact on communities and on the state but we're encouraging our clinicians across the state to test anybody who's symptomatic or if a healthcare provider deems appropriate to test someone that might be prioritized who's asymptomatic that could you can imagine could be a close contact with someone who is or is very high risk and is undergoing a procedure next steps one of my glasses on to be able to see I'm so sorry so I'm trying to so local health districts are going to prioritize and implement their plans as they go forward and then getting more PPE getting testing up and going and then also launching a public service announcement and campaign that you can help us with because if you think about it I think the governor said it was March 7th was when we said to the public stay inside this is a very bad disease social distancing is the most important thing we can do now we know what we want to be able to say is it's still important to do social distancing it's still important to wash your hands and cover your face but if you think you have covered 19 this is the time to call your health care provider to go online and see where you can get tested to make sure that you know if you have Kovan 19 or not there is enough PPE enough testing and enough things we can do for you your family your friends in your community by identifying that you have the disease and so it's important for us to change that message and I ask all of you to help me with that and I'll turn it back over to the governor again thank you dr.
bramley for all of your your great work as you can see we are looking at a number of data points and they're not always consistent especially on a day to day basis but the big picture is that we are making progress and that's good news we've said from the beginning that our goal is to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed we have done that we said from the beginning we need a consistent supply of PPE we have gotten that we are testing dramatically more people as you can see our numbers show we're doing that in dr.
Remley just laid out our plan to test a broad sample of people as we move forward everyone wants to know what comes next we'll talk more about that on Monday but here are a few things to keep in mind when other states talk about going to their phase 1 of reopening look closely at what that means you'll find there phase 1 looks a lot like where Virginia is right now for example some states phase one opens beaches to exercise we've had that from the start and when other states talk about how their phase 1 includes elective surgeries we're doing that starting today on Monday we'll talk more about what our phase 1 will look like and we'll also talk more about the data we're using to inform those decisions for the press we'll have a special briefing Monday morning for you to go over that data now I want to make another point about testing I understand that many doctors are not ordering tests for patients because initially it was very difficult to get patients tested we didn't have enough tests and so we really focus on a few specific high-risk populations but now that we were able to do more broad-based testing we are changing that guidance moving to a new strategy if you will so doctors if you have a patient who has the symptoms and meet the criteria we want you to please get them tested as dr.
Renly said we're working to make more tests available for doctors offices urgent care centers free clinics and other sites our goal is to make it as easy as possible for a sick person to get a test in a setting that they trust and doctors we are developing guidance that you will see next week on how to treat Cova patients in an outpatient setting how to safely test where to send tests or if you cannot test where to send that particular patient now I want to touch on testing in long-term care facilities two weeks ago I appointed dr.
Laurie for Llano to head up a task force to ensure that our nursing homes and long-term care facilities have the resources they need to protect patients and staff this group has been setting up testing for nursing homes and long-term facilities that have to+ confirmed cases from a data standpoint these tests are called point prevalence surveys they test everyone in the facility on the same day this is being done through a collaboration with our Virginia Department of Health UVA and VCU health systems and support from our state lab right here in Richmond our long-term care facilities can request testing through their local health departments and I'd encourage them to do so if they have an outbreak the Virginia National art is available to help run these tests if needed I sincerely appreciate the guard helping with logistics and supplies across our Commonwealth if you see them whether you see their vehicles are the tents that they often put up it is no cause for alarm they are here to assist us they're doing a great job and they are our friends I want to end by discussing a few other items first this weekend is the Census Bureau's digital action weekend it is not too late for people to respond to the census and I strongly urge every Virginian to fill out their census forms online or through the mail it's critical that we count every person who is living in our Commonwealth second may is Asian American and Pacific Islander month a time to celebrate the culture and important contributions that AAPI people make every day since the beginning of the kovat pandemic people of Asian descent have faced increased bigotry and harassment this month of celebration comes at an especially appropriate time to remind us of how unacceptable that is and how much we value this community third may is also national Foster Care Month and I want to take a moment to thank all of the thousands of foster families across Virginia who have welcomed children into their homes and their lives I also want to thank the social workers who continue to go to work every day to protect vulnerable children and finally Virginia's Department of Education has allocated the 238 point six million dollars in federal funding for school divisions that we received through the cares Act 90% of that money will pass directly to the divisions while the remaining 10% will go to our statewide efforts to increase access to technology and support students families and our educators now Virginia health commissioner dr.
norm Oliver will give a health update and then we'll be glad to take your questions dr.
Oliver governor I'll be brief so that we can get to the questions as of today we now have sixteen thousand nine hundred in one cases that's 1055 new cases in the last reporting period total deaths now number 581 that represents 29 new cases total tests now number one 100, 000 I'm sorry 105 thousand six hundred and forty-eight and as you heard from the governor yesterday that was 58 a little bit north of fifty eight hundred tests those of you in the media and the public who've been looking at our website will note that that's a big jump in the number of tests and that's because we changed our methodology as you are well aware one of the metrics that were looking at to judge when we're ready to move into phase one of our forward Virginia is the percent of positive tests two total tests we were previously counting people who were tested and that test which makes it not possible to really calculate that well in terms of the proportion of tests so that's what that represents thank you to take your questions I know we were weak out from your executive order expiring we had asked are we still potentially looking at a phase 1 reopening beginning May 8th can you update us on where that stands in as well regarding reopening I know you said you hope to get schools reopened by late August early fall I know and hope all the entire school system is looking for a year-round school we have single schools looking at here around what are the guidance today year-round schools to two different questions the first question the our executive order of the closure of businesses ends on May the 8th and the question was are we anticipating opening are not extending that executive order past that timeline we have had a tremendous amount of input from our business community I think you've heard me speak to that before small business medium-sized businesses large businesses across the Commonwealth represent pretty much every area of Virginia we are still working on that blueprint we're looking at the criteria that we're going to be using the diminution cases the amount of PPE the the amount of testing capabilities our hospital capacity those are all things that we're taking into consideration and and so I will give further guidelines on Monday regarding that plan and I realize and again as a small business owner that planning is very important and and with that day coming up on Friday we'll certainly give the guidelines on on Monday so I appreciate that question and also I appreciate people's patience it's so there's a lot of a lot of data that we're taking into account and as I've said all along we're going to do this responsibly and I'm going to do it to keep Virginians safe and and also to make sure that you know one of the points of conversation that we've had with our businesses and they they understand this is that you know consumers need to be comfortable they need to be assured that when they reenter a business that it's safe and so when I make the decision on when to go into phase one I can assure Virginians that we're going to do it in a in a safe manner and keep you safe the second part of the question was year-round schooling and that's you know something I haven't really addressed year-round schooling but the part of your question was where we have our children back in schools and in late August and early September and if we keep doing what we're doing I'm confident that we will be there they're looking at potentially if it's a July start date for the around schools especially for hopeful as there have been any decision made on that no no there hasn't and I you know I'll be glad to discuss that with them and then obviously we will work with our Secretary of Education and our Superintendent of Public Instruction but I haven't had that discussion yet next question will be from Julie Carey with NBC four good afternoon governor this may be a question for dr.
Oliver though there was some striking new data in the category of nursing home outbreaks today in which the number of deaths reported went from 118 yesterday to 311 today I just was hoping somebody could explain that increase in death in just one day well first of all that that's not the state of Virginia that's is that nationwide no that was in our data today hi the questions about the number of deaths attributed to long-term care facilities the the deaths that are on our outbreaks database so how that data comes in to us as we count an outbreak and those deaths or any data numbers of cases etc associated with an outbreak are added as quickly as possible to that file so to speak and so sometimes there is a lag in in capturing that and entering that data I'd have to go back to the team to fully understand that jump but that's what I think it's likely to be contact tracing capacity in the state and there is actually no data available for Virginia so I was wondering if you could give us an update on the number of contact tracers we have and more on that program in general sure that's a great question regarding contact as we've said all along this is the processes we move forward this is about screening individuals then testing and then being able to track a thriver jigna where the cases are whether they're hotspots or not and and so we are I want to let the folks from Virginia Department of Health answer this but we are ramping up that workforce so that we can adequately do that so thank you for that question it's true that we don't have a central roster of all our contact tracers our local health department's do that work and so for example in return city they had a normal force of about five people that do that kind of work around sexually transmitted infections and in the course of the Kovic 19 pandemic they ramped that up to 20 by pulling in other people from elsewhere within the health department and that was done across all our 35 health districts so I don't know the exact number but it's in the hundreds we are planning as part of our whole initiative around containing and tamping down kovat 19 as we reopen to ramp up the number of people that we have and we are working on plans to increase that to somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1500 thank you for taking our questions earlier this week North Carolina reverses decisions on identifying individual long term care facilities without breaks and now they're going to tell the public where the outbreaks are occurring these are constitutive compelling public interest and the health concerns that go along with that is changing that rule in Virginia something that you will consider in the coming day so the question is whether we will consider changing our current policy of not naming the specific long-term care facilities that have outbreaks did I understand the question correctly yes the as I've stated before this is not a decision that was made by the Health Department it is actually something that's incorporated into the Virginia Code which first of all identifies facilities and corporations businesses as persons and then requires us to not reveal the the to protect the anonymity of persons so unless the code changes I don't see how we could could do that in two weeks or less and I know you're still seeing that case count rise as we've seen on that table so I mean I guess my question is can you attribute that to this ramping up of testing that Virginia is doing now and how do you square that against other trends in terms of your decision to reopening and secondly just really quick can any nursing home facility order point prevalence testing at this point just upon request or is there other criteria that goes along with that nursing homes can order that and again thanks to our ability to ramp up the testing and and the use of the volunteer Medical Corps and the the National Guard and the ability to have the testing that we need we will be able to do that so the answer to your second question is is yes the first question and this gets into the data that will I think be reviewing with you all on Monday is how long it takes overtime for cases in Virginia to double and that's continuing to to widen which is a good thing it hasn't certainly slowed down as much as we would like it to but but it it is taking longer as if you go back and look at the beginning of the graph and I don't have that particular graph today but it was taken two or three days to double and now it's like 9 to 12 days so as we get farther out as that curve has flattened it takes longer for the number of cases to double which is a good thing could not be altering the picture of the new growth cases I'm gonna phone a friend how about that all right is the increase in cases attributed to increased testing is that your question yeah I think it's likely a combination I think that's what I'd say it's and I'm working on teasing out the data so we can better understand what proportion of increased is to increased cases is because of the testing increase but I think it's likely a combination of both I think we are still seeing case counts go up but yes you're correct a proportion of that's because we're testing more people thank you again for taking our questions my question is governor in the past about milking a state by region now where are you right now in King that out and can you give us a better idea and how that will be implemented if this is the way you go about this yes the question is about opening up certain parts of Virginia by region earlier than in other parts and we've gotten a lot of really good input from our businesses across Virginia and as I mentioned believe it our last conference we have representatives from Abington we also have representatives from Pulaski and also a statewide company that has business throughout Virginia I also would say that I've had great input from our legislators who represent that area and also our congressmen we had a phone call last night with with all of our Virginia delegation which went very well and and what I would say regarding opening up one region before the other there are pros and cons to to all of the options nothing is exactly straightforward and I'll give you one quick example of a concern that a business out in the southwest had and that is that if they are to open their place of business and for example another more dense populated area in Virginia doesn't it's not that difficult to travel around Virginia on our interstates and it may be two three hours away and so their concern was well what if all these folks from another area of Virginia that perhaps even as a hot spot in Virginia come to our places of business we have reopened then we have to backtrack and close our businesses down again and then we'll never be able to recover from that so so we're taking all of this into consideration I've had folks that have had provided input from the faith-based community that you know want their churches to open earlier so a lot of people have contributed to to our decision-making we're continuing to work through that plan I'll be working on it through the weekend and and as I said earlier I will give all of Virginia more guidance on that on Monday to the mehgan's not with us today I don't believe Henry your question is on folks that are applying for for unemployment let me just address it from a couple of different angles I know a lot of people have received checks I'm sure there's some out there that are still waiting and I regret that because everybody relies on on financial assistance we have had around close number of 550 thousand individuals in Virginia apply for unemployment and our VEC has literally been working around the clock they've updated their a system that they they take these applications through and while things have improved it they've just literally been inundated and and as you've probably heard me say before in one week's time they had more applications for unemployment than they had for the entire three years previously so so we've increased the number of individuals that are working there again we've updated our computer system and and we'll continue to do it as best we can so I know there's a website that individuals can go to if they feel like they've applied and they haven't received any any word yet I would encourage them to follow up but we again will continue to do everything we can to get the resources to them from small businesses what is the state doing to assist those small businesses yeah one of you wanted to talk about what we're doing yeah the question was what the Commonwealth is doing to assist small businesses that might not be able to open earlier in the press conference the governor mentioned to look at what states are doing when they when they had their phase 1 reopening is because Virginia has a lot of those measures already in place and one of those is that Virginia did not try to articulate every business under the Sun and classify them as essential or non-essential so some states did that and I think they they ran into trouble when they could try to produce those lists we came out with a very defined list of non-essential businesses where there's a lot of human interaction and there's a lot of touching barbershops nail salons tattoo parlors breweries we closed those up until May 8th and the governor will have an update on Monday as to how we look to responsibly phase in reopening those we did not close other retail that's not essential so your toy store your clothing store as long as they can abide by social distancing and keep ten or under in their stores they can remain open and that's really important because other states right now are starting to allow their non-essential retail and their phase one to reopen we've never closed them and the reason was this that would be the government picking very deliberately which businesses can open and which ones will close that sell the same product take the toy store for example if your son or daughter has a birthday coming up and you want to go to the local Main Street toy store you can do that so long as they're abiding by responsible social distancing if that store was closed you might then go to Walmart or Target which remain open and sell toys sell garden supplies sell TVs sell clothing and that would do two things one it would drive the small mom-and-pop stores that you reference out of business and drive their customers to the big-box retailers and two would drive more people into confined spaces which defeats the point of the Public Health social distancing so that's one thing to keep in mind the second the governor proposed during this last budget cycle to keep these gray machines or games of skill taxed at a very high level in Virginia the General Assembly for variety of reasons decided to ban those machines indefinitely moving forward and we certainly respect and understand why they did that however given the fact that many restaurants and convenience stores are struggling and are on the verge of going out of business that's a revenue stream for many of those businesses that if they were to if we were to reopen and then take those machines away it would be a double hit so the governor in the budget process offered an amendment to keep those games of scale in business for one more year and attacks each machine at $1, 200 per month per machine across the Commonwealth and that those monies will go into a kovat relief fund and that relief fund will be administered by our Secretary of Commerce or Secretary of Finance working with a Department of Housing and Community Development to give relief to small businesses that are standing right that is standing back up one of the complaints that we've heard about the small business loans is that these businesses don't need to take all more debt they need working capital right now to get them through this this rough patch and so you know that that's going to be a pot of money that we can can use working with the General Assembly and be insurance parent about how those funds are being used but to get those funds in the hands of small business owners that need them and lastly I would just say you know you get some reports out of states like Georgia this week that have reopened and there's a very tepid response from consumers as to whether they're going back to restaurants and going back to to small businesses and that's because we need to make sure as the governor said that consumers have confidence that the the regulations and the guidelines that we're putting in place are responsible and well-thought-out and so the governor will articulate that more on Monday but we but we believe very strongly that that will engender the kind of confidence that is needed so that consumers when we do reopen and will have that confidence and we'll do business with those small businesses that was our chief of staff Clark Mercer so is the question can we change it or it and present both things and we can certainly consider that I don't know going forward I think because as you will hear from the governor we need a look you know lousã dates more on the plan looking I think what we're going to have to do is really look at where we are starting at that point going forward and that's so much looking back many days now is that not to not understand your question correctly or were you asking about the actual jump and what was the reason for that okay I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm misunderstood your question so what what or what is the difference in that methodology and what was the methodology before before if if I came down with Cove at 19 and I get tested positive and then I was in the hospital and they tested me again and then I got better and they wanted to make sure I was really okay before they sent me up to a skilled nursing facility might test me again and then I get to the skilled nursing facility and I got tested a fourth time the way we used to count that was one I was one person what we're doing now is we're counting the four tests and that's the difference so you couldn't really compare it now we could go back and dig that all out but going forward what we're going to do is count the tests it doesn't artificially inflate the number it said totally it's not apples and two apples we're we're it's a difference between counting people and Counting the tests we can certainly get you those numbers but roughly if you've been following it was 85, 000 we had 5, 000 did again the number is accurate on the incremental tests per day so 85 went to 90 and 90 went to around 95 or 96 and that number I think if you check the website reflecting the new methodology was about 10% of the people 8 or 9% had a duplicate not a duplicate had an additional test and one of the rationales is to include that is because it did consume reagent it consumed testing time it consumed a swab all of which were in great shortage at the time in it and it prevented from somebody else getting a test and that test was important to reveal and as the Commissioner of Health indicated a little while ago we are one of the important points that we're looking at is the percentage positive so you need to know the exact number of tests not the number of people who had tests and again there are good clinical reasons also exactly the scenario that that the Commissioner had indicated so we can certainly get back to you what that number would have been so you can until that's one time change that you can then increment so that you'll know what that that would have happened today I think that's what you're asking about we can get dr.
Oliver and the team at VDX can get that for you and there is the the question was may that have been one of the reasons why Virginia was slightly lower we were about 10% less than for example North Carolina for a lot of their their time and and the answer is we we we haven't done a survey of the the 50 states or in District of Columbia but we will make sure we we do check in with what other folks are doing really a lot we realized for Virginia that that change in methodology made a clearer sense because we're want to make sure that other number that we're reporting because so many folks are focusing on that as we move into the phases so as one of the important indicators so we will we intend to see what other methodologies other states are doing there's not a standard methodology for us and made sense because if these are tests done on separate days by and large and it did they these were they're clinically indicated and I had a reason to be done if a patient had a clinical syndrome in the early days that looked all the world like Cova 19 but they were negative and they started having the basal or pneumonia that patients develop often as if they get sick then the hospital would check him on day three and and some of those were positive so those were clinically indicated tests and didn't there were new clinical scenarios that that justified the use of new resources so we we intend to find that out but on the other hand we are very forward facing our focus was on the hospital SiC folks as dr.
Remley and the governor have indicated we're now broadening that neck broadening that that that focus to to rapidly increase the amount of testing in Virginia as we go into the phasing and the criteria that the that the governor and the chief have talked about and even to make sure that the funding that you give some of these great great questions and Tracy DeShazer who is our deputy secretary of administration or scuse me Commonwealth is with us today and I'm going to let her come up and maybe just review some of the different Commission's committees that we have that are already doing good work for example like they the health equity Commission as you know we have an officer first one in the country of diversity and inclusivity so Tracy would you like to elaborate on some of what we're doing appreciate so to restate the question the question is around is there going to be any set of is there going to be a specific group to address minority businesses and the concerns of minority businesses may have and then also the health disparities so what I will share is that there is a health equity work group this group is spearheaded by the health equity leadership team that includes dr.
Janice Underwood who does serve as the Commonwealth's chief diversity equity and inclusion officer additionally on that particular leadership team there is Curtis Brown dr.
Lauren pal and save okay Nelson dr.
Lauren Powell and Curtis Brown are both with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and save okay Nelson serves as the acting director of the Virginia Department of Health's office of health equity and so that particular team really is working I would say throughout each of the different workgroups that have already been established to ensure that equity stays at the forefront of all of our efforts whether that be to support minority businesses or to address health disparities more information on that team is available on dr.
Underwood's website that can be found through the governor's website at governor virginia gov additionally more information on that workgroup the health equity workgroup is found on the Virginia Department of Health website and there you can find the specific initiatives that they are focusing on currently they have been collaborating with facilities as well as localities to do some targeted testing but again more information is available there and that leadership team can speak directly to their efforts wonderful we've certainly take a note of that I would say for the funding piece I'll turn that back over to our secretary of commerce and trade and our Secretary of Finance to address that thank you yes the question has to deal with though are we going to make sure we have resources available for the equity piece regarding to that other public health crisis in the small business and the answer to that is certainly yes and that can come in a variety of different of opportunities for us there are federal monies stimulus monies that can be used for those purposes obviously you heard the chief of staff talk about there some monies the governor has put in the budget that can be set aside for those purposes and in addition our general fund and just the normal budget process we go through so we're keenly aware of all those needs so because of the emphasis put on by the governor and dr.
Underwood and her team and I can just assure you that those will be assessed when we're making the decisions to put revenues but you all know we're in short supply right now because we're facing the same thing that the the rest of our businesses are across the Commonwealth but that is a priority and they will be prioritized and making sure we're addressing those should have also mentioned – Thank You chief that we that the Northfield distributor manufacturing company is a has been we have used for the PPE their minority-owned they're not a minority of a contractor because not only 50% but we purposely identified them and they have done a marvelous job for us in terms of our supply chain and stuff so that was overwhelming in our first decision to make sure we had participation from the morty community and from the very beginning so thank you well again thanks to all of you for joining us today it's it's Friday and I'd be remiss if I didn't give you a little bit of homework to work on over the the weekend and and that is to continue doing what you're doing because what you're doing is is working and I know it's difficult I know people are making sacrifices out there but but continue to keep your physical distance in six feet apart continue to stay in gatherings of less than ten people continue to wear your facial protection when you're you're out and and if you you know if you do have a central tribal if you do need to go somewhere that's fine but otherwise try to stay at home enjoy your time with your family and and again the things that we've been saying all along the cover in your face if you need to call for sneeze and and really as a I was on a call this morning they wanted to know as a doctor what did I think was the most important thing and I you know this this is an aerosolized virus that's the way it's transmitted and and really when it gets on our hands and then we all whether we know it or not bring our hands to our face numerous times a day but clean wash your hands as frequently as you can use hand sanitizers these are the things that will continue to minimize the spread of this virus and and continue also to to take care of your friends your family your favors those that need our help we're we're all in this together so so that's your homework for the weekend my homework and my staff's a homework is to continue to reach out to our businesses to continue to assess the data continue to look at our supply PPE or our testing capabilities and and provides you the guidelines that you need as we hopefully enter phase one and I will give you those guidelines on on Monday so so again I hope you all have a peaceful and restful weekend and we look forward to being with you on on Monday thank you all so much.