Delaney Dispatch (Coronavirus Update - April 17, 2020)
Submitted by Tess Bettler on April 25, 2020
April 17, 2020
I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our communities. In this newsletter, I have included updates from this week on non-essential business closures, our biennium budget, and more. I hope you find this information helpful, and I will write again next Friday to give a summary of happenings through the week.
On Wednesday, April 22, the General Assembly will once again travel to Richmond for our reconvene session, where we will act on amendments and recommendations by the Governor. We are obligated to conduct this business in person, and measures have been taken by the House of Delegates and the Senate to ensure the safety of legislators and staff. The proceedings will be streamed and available for the public to observe.
As we continue to navigate this crisis together, remember that I am here to help. It is important that I hear from my constituents about issues that you would like to see addressed or problems that you would like more clarity on. If you have any questions or concerns, please email my office at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov. My office will do our best to answer any questions you have and bring up your concerns to the appropriate state agency.
I know that times are tough for all of us. I say this often, because I truly believe it to be true: our community is incredibly strong, and together, we can and will get through these trying times.
Useful Links and Resources:
With the amount of news coming out at the federal, state, and local level, it is incredibly important that we stay up-to-date on the facts surrounding the situation. Here are some reliable sources to keep up with:
The Governor has submitted his recommendations for our recently passed biennium budget (HB 30/SB 30), which can be seen here. Overall, there were 144 recommended amendments to the budget - 49 of them were technical language amendments. 83 of the amendments were to unallot new discretionary spending, and 12 are changes to existing spending.
It remains to be seen the full impact this pandemic will have on the state budget. As the situation evolves, it is possible that further changes will need to be made to ensure that our budget stays balanced.
Non-Essential Business Closures:
On Wednesday, Gov. Northam announced that Executive Order 53, the order that closes all non-essential business, and requires restaurants to operate through takeout and delivery, will be extended through May 8. While our social distancing efforts are working, and we are slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia, it is simply too early to let up on our efforts. In order to ensure that we keep our vulnerable populations and healthcare workers safe, it is necessary to continue aggressive social distancing. As our models are updated, the state will have a clearer idea of when these measures can be lifted.
Executive Order 57:
Today, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 57, which will aid Virginia in increasing our medical professional workforce as we continue to treat COVID-19 patients. This order allows out-of-state medical licensees more freedom to provide care to Virginia patients and allows Virginia-licensed nurse practitioners with two or more years of experience to practice without collaborative agreements. It also gives hospitals increased flexibility in the supervision of interns, residents, and fellows, and allows hospitals to use fourth-year medical students as additional staff to help treat those who are ill or injured.
Important and Updated Information from Inova Health:
Is COVID-19 testing available through Inova?
Yes, testing is available across Inova Health System based on clinical criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health.
Inova has established Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. These clinics will also be able to collect samples via physician ordered and coordinated vehicle-side appointments for COVID-19 testing.
Please see the following updated hours and status for Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics and Urgent Care Centers:
·Inova Urgent Care Centers at Dulles South, Tysons and North Arlington are operating as Respiratory Illness Clinics and only evaluating patients with respiratory illness symptoms.
oTysons Respiratory Illness Clinic is operating 7-days per week, from 8AM-8PM.
oDulles South and North Arlington Respiratory Illness Clinics are operating Monday-Friday from 8AM-8PM
·NEW: Beginning Monday, April 20, Inova Primary Care – Old Town Alexandria will operate as a Respiratory Illness Clinic by appointment only Monday-Friday from 1PM-4:30PM. To schedule a respiratory evaluation at the Old Town office, patients should call (703) 683-7220.
·Our Respiratory Illness Clinics are able to collect samples via physicianordered and coordinated vehicle-side appointments for COVID-19 testing, as well as screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms.For more information, visit this link.
·All other Inova Urgent Care Locations are seeing non-respiratory patients only. For addresses and hours, visit this link.
Before visiting any Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, take the following steps:
1.Contact your regular physician for evaluation. For assistance with recommendations, to arrange for a physician appointment, or if you do not have a primary care physician, call 1-855-IMG-DOCS.
2.Your regular physician should evaluate your symptoms to determine if testing is needed based on COVID-19 testing criteria, provide a testing order, and coordinate your referral to the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic for evaluation.
3.Upon arrival at the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, a clinician will greet the patient at their vehicle to collect samples for a physician-ordered test, or escort the patient into the respiratory clinic for evaluation.
4.For patients who undergo COVID-19 testing, an Inova nurse will contact those whose results are negative. For patients with positive results, an Inova nurse will coordinate with the patient’s regular physician for notification and further instructions. Patients who are tested can expect results in roughly 4-7 days.
5.More information can be found following this link. Addresses and contact information for the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinics are as follows:
Inova Urgent Care – Tysons (8AM-8PM, 7 days a week)
8357 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
Inova Urgent Care – Dulles South (8AM-8PM, Monday-Friday)
24801 Pinebrook Rd. #110
Chantilly, VA 20152
Inova Urgent Care – N. Arlington (8AM-8PM, Monday-Friday)
4600 Lee Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22207
Inova Primary Care – Old Town Alexandria (By Appointment Only, 1:00-4:30 PM, Monday-Friday)
325 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Is it safe to go to the Emergency Room right now?
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please visit the ER or call 911 immediately. Delaying treatment can be a dangerous decision, especially when it comes to signs of a heart attack or stroke. Inova Emergency Rooms have taken precautions to provide a safe environment for all our patients – including screening processes and separate areas for those suspected of having COVID-19.
Community Donations: Individuals and businesses across our region have been extremely generous in offers for support, small and large. Inova has established a centralized online resource for opportunities for community support at www.inova.org/icanhelp.
Blood Donation: Additionally, Inova Blood Donor Services has experienced great community support, however the need for blood is continual and the supply changes daily depending on collections and patient needs. Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days and donated platelets have a shelf life of 5 days.
Inova Blood Donor Services needs donors to sign up now for an appointment to donate blood during the next six weeks at a Donor Center location. Inova Blood Donor Services has implemented extra precautions to protect donors - it is safe to give blood, and your donation will save a life. Make an appointment at www.inovablood.org or 800-BLOOD-SAVES.
Blood plasma research from those who have recovered from COVID-19: Finally, Inova Health System is looking for individuals recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma (colorless fluid part of blood) for a research study. Your donated plasma contains immunoglobulins (immune protection) and this study will use your plasma to help patients currently sick with COVID-19 disease. More information can be found on the COVID-19 Research page.
Mental Health and Domestic Violence Resources:
At this trying time, it is important that we continue to care for our mental health. Here are some resources if you are struggling and need help:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board hotline: 703-527-4077
Loudoun County Mental Health Emergency Services...703.777.0320
Loudoun Suicide Prevention...703.777.0176
PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text “Connect” to 85511
SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (800-662-4357)
Children's Regional Crisis Response: 844-NCrisis (844-627-4747) in English and Spanish