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Kaine meets with Virginia Service-members at Naval Station Rota in Spain

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Senator Kaine visiting U.S. Servicemembers aboard the USS Donald Cook./ Photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Lewis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, met with American servicemembers at Naval Station Rota in Spain today. During his visit, Kaine highlighted the importance of U.S.-Spanish military cooperation and thanked the troops for their service.

“American troops stationed in Rota play an invaluable role in supporting U.S. Naval operations in the Mediterranean and Africa. I’m glad to have had a chance to thank them for their service and get briefed on their work to ensure the readiness of U.S. forces in the region. U.S.-Spanish military cooperation is a critical partnership that helps keep both our nations safe,” Kaine said.

Sen. Kaine speaks to Hospital Corpsmen.

While visiting Rota, Kaine was briefed on U.S. Naval operations in the Mediterranean, including ballistic missile defense and the readiness of U.S. armed forces. Kaine met with the crew of the American destroyer USS Donald Cook, previously homeported in Norfolk, as well as the Spanish aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I. After the tour, Kaine met with servicemembers from Virginia who are stationed in Rota.

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – March 27, 2020

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Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here is the latest update:

 

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Virginia U.S. Attorneys issue statement on Virginia recommendations regarding medical prescriptions during COVID-19 pandemic

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On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver, in response to a surge in demand of potential treatments for COVID-19 for drugs commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, lupus, malaria, and bacterial infections, reminded physicians and pharmacists that these life-sustaining medications should only be dispensed under specified limited circumstances based on legitimate medical need. Dr. Oliver also warned against improper dispensing and potential hoarding of these medications.

On March 27, 2020, U.S. Attorneys Thomas Cullen and Zach Terwilliger issued a statement confirming that federal prosecutors are aware of Dr. Oliver’s warnings regarding this increased demand and potentially improper behavior by physicians and other health-care providers who may be improperly prescribing these drugs to themselves, their families, and others without a legitimate medical purpose. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, as part of their joint COVID-19 Fraud Task Force, will be closely monitoring this disturbing trend and are prepared to investigate potential violations of federal and state law committed by any individuals or entities, including physicians, dentists, and other healthcare providers, related to these prescription drugs.

“At a time when many doctors, nurses, and first responders are risking their health and personal safety to treat those affected by the coronavirus, it is incredibly disturbing that a selfish minority in that field may be undermining these valiant efforts by prescribing outside legitimate medical practice,” said U.S. Attorney Cullen. “We will work closely with our federal, state, and local partners to identify unscrupulous physicians and other health-care providers who are putting their own well-being ahead of those with a true medical need and hold them accountable under the law.”

“Our office is committed to protecting the public at this critical time, including Virginians who rely on life-sustaining prescription drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Terwilliger. “We will act swiftly in coordination with our law enforcement partners to safeguard these critical medications for those who need them against healthcare providers who improperly dispense them.”

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, or need more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdva/covid-19-fraud

For more information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva

To report fraud directly to the FBI, please visit their website at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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Governor Northam encourages Virginians to complete 2020 Census online amid COVID-19 outbreak

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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today encouraged Virginians to complete the 2020 Census online as the country works to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. This week, households across Virginia began receiving invitations from the U.S. Census Bureau to complete the 2020 Census. For the first time ever, individuals are able to complete their forms online, via phone, or mail. The statewide virtual Week of Action from Friday, March 27 to Thursday, April 2 will highlight Census Day on April 1, and encourage Virginians to participate in the 2020 Census.

“Though many Virginians are focused on COVID-19, it is still crucial that everyone takes time to complete the 2020 Census, which can be done quickly and easily online,” said Governor Northam. “Counting every person in the Commonwealth will ensure that we receive our portion of the more than $675 billion in federal funding that will be allocated to states for important programs, from Medicaid to school breakfasts.”

By last Friday, an estimated 140 million households had received an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to complete the 2020 Census. To date, approximately 18.6 million households have responded to the Census. Though data collection continues, the U.S. Census Bureau has modified some of its field operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Today, Governor Northam also announced a Virtual Statewide Week of Action, which includes Census Day on Wednesday, April 1. From Friday, March 27 through Thursday, April 2, Virginians are encouraged to virtually promote the 2020 Census and “Determine Your Decade: YOUR Representation. YOUR Community Funding. YOUR Civic Duty.”

A full list of events is located below:

Friday, March 27 – Sunday, March 29 | Interfaith Engagement
Faith Leaders and communities are encouraged to commit to being a faith partner through the following efforts:

  • Religious Teachings: Incorporate Census messaging into a virtual sermon, lesson, litany, or other teachings. This is an opportunity to preach or teach on the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census.
  • Announcement or Presentation: Allow a member of the U.S. Census Bureau, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Virginia Complete Count Commission, or a local Complete Count Committee to virtually connect with your congregation and provide a Census-related message.
  • Video Messaging: Share a Census-related video message with your congregation via email or through social media channels.
  • Social Media: Encourage parishioners to follow @CountOnVirginia on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for Census-related updates. Leverage your own social media and that of your congregants to spread the word about the 2020 Census.
  • Digital Platforms: Work with local media to share key messages about the upcoming Census. You may consider writing an op-ed or being interviewed by a local reporter.
  • Text Messaging: Encourage parishioners to text PLEDGE or CENSO to (804) 203-0393 for Census updates and reminders.

Monday, March 30 | Social Media Monday
Virginians can “Get Social on Media Monday” by following Virginia’s Census engagement efforts on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Virginians are also invited to participate in a Twitter chat about what’s at stake in the 2020 Census. Questions can be tweeted to @CountOnVirginia. Promote the Census using the hashtags #Census2020, #VACompleteCount, and #CountOnVirginia. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to change their Facebook profile picture frames to promote the Census.

Tuesday, March 31 | Text It Tuesday: Pledge to be Counted
The Northam administration has partnered with CommunityConnect Labs to use mobile messaging to connect with hard-to-reach populations. Virginians are encouraged to “Pledge to be Counted” by texting the word “PLEDGE” or “CENSO” (Español) to the number for their respective locality. Participants will receive a digital pledge card that can be shared on social media. Standard text messaging data rates may apply.

Valley: (540) 235-5155
Northern: (703) 684-0007 or (571) 200-0828
Coastal: (757) 210-3232
Southside: (434) 201-4884
Southwest: (276) 218-8138
Central: (804) 203-0393

Wednesday, April 1 | Spread the Word Wednesday
Since 1930, Census Day has been observed on April 1. By this date, all households will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Organizations are encouraged to send electronic correspondence to subscribers promoting the 2020 Census and sharing instructions for how individuals can complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail.

Thursday, April 2 | Townhall Thursday
Organizations are encouraged to host virtual townhalls via Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, and other platforms to promote the 2020 Census.

“It’s important that we come together as a community to determine our decade and be counted in the 2020 Census,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson. “Taking 10 minutes to complete our Census questionnaires online will help our communities for the next 10 years.”

How to Complete the 2020 Census Online

  • To respond online, go to 2020census.gov. The online form is available in English and 12 other languages. Additionally, video guides showing people how to complete the online questionnaire are available in English and 59 other languages.
  • A sample 2020 Census questionnaire is available here.

About the Virginia Complete Count Commission
On December 18, 2018, Governor Northam signed Executive Order Twenty-Seven establishing the Virginia Complete Count Commission. The purpose of the Commission is to improve participation and representation of all Virginians in the 2020 Census. The Commission facilitates the sharing of ideas and community resources regarding the 2020 Census and serves as a conduit between the Commonwealth and the United States Census Bureau.

The Virginia Complete Count Commission serves as a trusted voice and resource to educate, empower, and engage all communities for the purpose of ensuring that everyone who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia is counted in the 2020 Census.

For more information on the 2020 Census and Virginia Complete Count Commission, visit census.virginia.gov or follow @CountOnVirginia on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Kaine & Warner urge administration to approve Virginia National Guard funding request amid COVID-19 outbreak

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 ~ Title 32 approval would provide federal funding for Virginia’s National Guard emergency response missions amid the health crisis ~

WASHINGTON – On March 27, 2020,  U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), along with U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA) Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to swiftly approve federal funding for the Virginia National Guard to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We write to urge you to quickly approve the request made by Governor Ralph Northam for additional authorities and funding under Title 32 U.S. Code 502(f)(2)(A) to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Governor Northam requests this authority and funding for the Virginia National Guard as they work to respond to incidents related to the preservation of life and property in connection with COVID-19 emergency response efforts,” wrote the members of Congress in their letter to President Donald Trump.

Several states across the country have begun to mobilize their National Guards to assist in their response to the coronavirus outbreak. Under Title 32, Virginia’s Governor would have the authority to deploy units to communities across the Commonwealth to help distribute food, support local test facilities, and assist first responders and health providers. Additionally, this request would allow the federal government to cover the cost of these critical missions.

On March 24, the Governor of Virginia determined the need to increase the Virginia National Guard force to full-time status in an effort to help with the coronavirus emergency response across the Commonwealth.

“We urge your prompt approval of this request so Governor Northam may fully task the Virginia National Guard as he finds necessary to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response efforts in support of this national emergency declaration,” they concluded.

Earlier this week, the Senate approved a $2 trillion bipartisan coronavirus economic relief package that includes $1.4 billion for the deployment of the National Guard. This funding level will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard under the direction of the governors of each state for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts to the health crisis. The House of Representatives will vote on the economic package later today.

A copy of the letter is available here.

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Governor Northam directs postponement of elective surgeries

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~ Order will preserve medical beds and personal protective equipment for COVID-19 response ~

On March 25, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient. The order also does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs.

Earlier this week, Governor Northam recommended that hospitals postpone any elective surgeries, and many have already done so.

“Hospitals and medical facilities in Virginia and around the country are in desperate need of additional masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment,” said Governor Northam. “While we work to increase our supply, it makes sense to decrease the demand for that equipment where we can. Postponing elective surgeries allows us to divert more PPE to the medical staff who are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak so we can better protect the men and men on the front lines of this public health emergency, fighting to keep us all safe.”

Licensed inpatient and outpatient surgical hospitals, free-standing endoscopy centers, physicians’ offices, and dental, orthodontic, and endodontic offices may perform any procedure or surgery that if delayed or canceled would result in the patient’s condition worsening. Outpatient surgical hospitals are encouraged to work with local inpatient hospitals to assist with surge capacity needs. The full text of Order of Public Health Emergency Two is available here.

Virginia received its first shipment of PPE from the national stockpile this week and the state has made its second request. The Governor continues to call for a nationally-led response for acquiring and distributing PPE so that states are not competing against each other, the federal government, and even other countries for the equipment, causing higher prices in the private sector.

Last week, Governor Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Two that lifts Virginia’s certificate of public need restrictions, allowing hospitals and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity as needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Northam has ordered many non-essential businesses to close for 30 days and told Virginians to stay home except for necessary trips out, so as to increase social distancing and slow the spread of the virus.

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – March 25, 2020

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Each day Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here is the latest update:

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Upcoming Events

Mar
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4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Mar 31 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
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10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 1 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
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10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 2 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
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6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
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10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
2:00 pm Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
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10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]