I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the beautiful weather. As we approach the summer months, our vaccination efforts continue to rise, and I encourage you to take the opportunity to get vaccinated as soon as you can.
In this newsletter, I've included some updates on COVID-19 mitigation measures, vaccination efforts in the Commonwealth, the Colonial Pipeline, and the June 8th Democratic primary.
As a reminder, you can reach out to my office at any time at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov to schedule a virtual meeting with me. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email my office or call us at 703-996-9415.
Earlier this week, the Colonial Pipeline experienced a ransomware attack that resulted in a temporary shutdown of operations. In response, the Governor issued Executive Order 78, which declared a state of emergency to help address gas supply disruptions in the Commonwealth. While the pipeline did resume operations, gas shortages are expected to persist until the product delivery supply chain returns to normal.
Because of the state of emergency, price gouging protections in the Commonwealth are in effect. You can report suspected price gouging to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section at email@example.com or by calling 800-552-9963.
Two major updates to the Commonwealth's COVID-19 mitigation measures are coming soon. With cases declining and vaccinations continuing to rise, Governor Northam has announced that certain COVID-19 mitigation measures will be updated and take effecttomorrow, May 15. You can read the full amended Executive Order 72 here, and below are some highlights of changes:
The maximum number of people for indoor gatherings is increased to 100 people, and outdoor gatherings are increased to 250 people.
Indoor entertainment venues will be able to operate at 50% capacity or hold 1,000 people, whichever is less. Outdoor entertainment venues will be able to operate at 50% capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
The number of spectators allowed at indoor sporting events will increase to 250 people or 50% capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor sporting events can host 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is less.
Restaurants can resume selling alcohol past midnight, and dining rooms are allowed to be open from midnight to 5am again.
Just this afternoon, Governor Northam announced that Virginia would be easing all distancing and capacity restrictions two weeks earlier than expected, on May 28. He also announced that Virginia's indoor mask mandate would be lifted for vaccinated people in accordance with new CDC guidance. Governor Northam's video announcement can be found here.
As you may know, most Virginians are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and just this week, the Virginia Department of Health approved the Pfizer vaccine for Virginians ages 12 to 15. If you haven't already gotten your vaccine, I strongly encourage you to do so!
The COVID vaccine is safe, effective, and free to all who want it. Please sign up to receive yours if you haven't already!
June 8th Democratic Primary Information:
Early voting is underway for the June 8th Democratic Primary! The deadline to register or update your existing registration is May 17, so please make sure to check your registration hereor register here. If you're already registered and want to apply to vote absentee by mail, you can do so here - the deadline is May 28.
Early in-person voting is happening now through June 5, if that's the option you choose. You can find more information on Fairfax County early voting here, and Loudoun County early voting here.
You can also choose to vote in-person on Election Day, June 8. Polls are open from 6am to 7pm. However you choose to cast your ballot, please make sure you make a plan as soon as you can to make your voice heard!
Virginia COPES Warmline:
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services has set up a COVID-19 helpline. Trained Crisis Counselors are available 7 days a week. Call or text 877-349-6428 if you, a friend, or a loved one are experiencing stress, anxiety or are having difficulty coping with the pandemic and need someone to talk to. Check out the VA COPESwebsiteand Facebook too!
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