Virginia Beach Planning Commission Public Hearing March 11, 2020 Minutes

View PDF of Minutes at VBGov.com:

I would like to call the order the March 11th, 2020 public meeting of the Planning Commission. My name is David Wiener. I’m acting as Chair today. Dee Oliver will not be here. Before we get started, I’ve asked Commissioner Coston to lead us in prayer and Don Horsley, Mr. Horsley to lead us in pledge, please stand.

Download PDF of PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES MARCH 11 2020 Formal Minutes (Binded) here.

“On June 2-3, 2020, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay voluntarily accepted an offer by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to test all residents and staff for the COVID-19 virus.”

Latest update at WCBay.com:

UPDATE: June 8, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Point of Prevalence Survey Results Show Westminster-Canterbury COVID-19 Free: More than 1100 Residents and Staff Tested

On June 2-3, 2020, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay voluntarily accepted an offer by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to test all residents and staff for the COVID-19 virus.  None of the more than 1100 residents and staff that participated in the survey tested positive.

Because Westminster-Canterbury is a large campus of over 1100 residents and staff and has remained COVID-19 free, the VDH was extremely interested in performing this survey with our population.  The campus’ experience runs contrary to the experience of other senior living communities of similar size.

“While we are extremely thankful that our community is COVID-19 free, we will continue with the protocols that got us to this point, including social distancing and wearing masks,” said Westminster-Canterbury President and CEO J. Benjamin Unkle, Jr.

“Science shows that face coverings are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus, but wearing them is also a sign of respect.”

View Executive Order here:

  • Personal care and grooming businesses

  • Essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail including grocery stores and pharmacies

  • Food and beverage establishments

  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments when permitted to open

  • Train stations, bus stations, and on intrastate public transportation, including in waiting or congregating areas

  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services

  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than ten minutes.

Governor Allows Virginia Beach Reopening with Restrictions

From Governor.Virginia.gov:

May 18, 2020Governor Ralph Northam announced that he will allow Virginia Beach to open its beaches for recreation, with restrictions, on Friday.

Virginia Beach officials created a plan for reopening the beach, with restrictions on groups and activities. Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler helped make that proposal stronger. As finalized, Virginia Beach’s plan includes increased cleaning of high-touch areas, compliance monitoring by beach ambassadors, and a 50 percent reduction in parking in beach lots. While families and individuals will be allowed to sunbathe, swim, and surf, the new rules prohibit beach sports and gatherings by large groups, and require those using the beach to adhere to social distancing rules.

Governor Northam also announced the members of a working group that will craft guidance for how schools, from preK to higher education, can move forward with classes later this year. The group includes diverse stakeholders, including school superintendents, college presidents from private and public schools, and members with other educational backgrounds.

Governor Northam Announces Education Work Group to Help Guide Process for Safe, Equitable Reopening of Schools

Governor Northam Announces Phase One Guidelines to Slowly Ease Public Health Restrictions. Phase One will begin no sooner than Friday, May 15.

View at Governor.Virginia.gov:

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order Sixty-One and presented a detailed framework for the first phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The Phase One guidelines will be implemented when the data meets the public health criteria outlined by the Commonwealth. The new executive order modifies public health guidance in Executive Order Fifty-Three and Executive Order Fifty-Five and establishes guidelines for Phase One.

The Governor’s phased approach is grounded in science and data and includes mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus through enhanced safety practices. The plan allows localities to consider delaying implementation of Phase One guidelines based on local conditions.

“I am proud of the millions of Virginians who have stayed home and helped to flatten the curve, but our work is not done,” said Governor Northam. . . .

Phase One guidelines for specific sectors are available here or at virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia.

View the graphs and slides from the Governor’s presentation here.

 

Governor Outlines Phased Plan to Safely, Gradually Ease Restrictions

View at Governor.Virginia.gov:

May 4, 2020—Governor Ralph Northam outlined a three-phase plan to ease restrictions on businesses and gatherings, when health data supports doing so.

Governor Northam said he will extend key provisions of Executive Order 53, which places restrictions on businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people, at least through next Thursday, May 14, at midnight. The Northam administration will continue to monitor health data to ensure that trends of positive cases are going downward, that hospital capacity remains steady, that testing is increased, and that hospitals and medical facilities have necessary supplies of PPE. For more information on key metrics, please see here.

Phase I of easing restrictions would continue social distancing, teleworking, recommendations that people wear face coverings in public, and the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people. It would ease some limits on business and faith communities, and would transition the stay at home directive to a “safer at home” guideline, especially for those in vulnerable populations.

It is expected that Phase I would last two to four weeks, as would the two subsequent phases, depending on health metrics.

More specific guidance on each phase will be available in the coming days. Slides from the Governor’s briefing are available here.

Accurate, reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website.

Click to view slides from press conference.

View VIRGINIA FORWARD BLUEPRINT here.

View DATA BRIEFING MAY 4 2020 here.

Governor Northam Unveils Blueprint for Easing Public Health Restrictions

Read entire news release:

‘Forward Virginia’ blueprint informed by diverse health and business stakeholders, includes testing, tracing, and PPE priorities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today presented the “Forward Virginia” blueprint, which will help guide the Commonwealth on when to safely begin easing public health restrictions. The blueprint includes a phased approach that is grounded in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and has specific goals to contain the spread of the virus through increased testing, personal protective equipment and supplies, and medical capacity.

“We will move forward, but in a way that prioritizes public health and builds public confidence,” said Governor Northam. “Businesses know that customers will return only when they feel that it is safe to do so. Our blueprint for the path forward is data-driven and provides clear guidance, so Virginians will know what to expect and understand how we will decide to when to lift certain public health restrictions.”

Virginia is looking at a wide range of public health data. The Governor emphasized that key indicators will include a 14-day downward trend in confirmed cases as a percentage of overall tests and in reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations. While hospitalization rates have largely stabilized in the Commonwealth, confirmed cases continue to rise.

The Forward Virginia blueprint includes the following priorities:

TESTING AND TRACING

To ensure the continued safety of Virginians, the Commonwealth aims to test at least 10,000 individuals per day. Karen Remley, former Commissioner of Health and current co-chair of Virginia’s Testing Work Group, outlined a four stage approach to meet this goal prior to safe reopening. The expanded testing plan includes hiring contact tracers, who will support local health departments in identifying individuals who may be exposed to COVID-19 and helping them self-isolate.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to ramping up testing, ensuring the safety of healthcare staff, and expanding the medical workforce. Virginia’s PPE pipeline is improving, and hospitals are successfully managing their supplies. The Governor cautioned that safely easing restrictions will require an ongoing stable PPE supply chain across all sectors of healthcare, and ensuring that the supply is regularly replenished.

Virginia has ordered 17.4 million N95 masks, 8.3 million surgical masks, 17.1 million gloves, 1.7 million gowns, and 1 million face shields. This includes a contract signed jointly with Maryland and the District of Columbia for 5 million N95 masks.

Governor Northam announced that a second shipment from Northfield Medical Manufacturing is scheduled to arrive today and will be promptly distributed. The latest shipment includes 3 million nitrile exam gloves, 100,000 N95 masks, 500,000 3-ply procedure masks, and 40,000 isolation gowns.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY AND STAFF

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are largely stable across Virginia, even as case counts continue to rise. To ensure continued capacity as Virginia move towards “Phase One” of easing restrictions, Governor Northam yesterday extended the ban on elective surgeries through May 1 and expanded the ability of physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement.

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) continues to recruit and deploy medical and non-medical volunteers to bolster the work of local health departments, hospitals, and healthcare providers. The MRC currently has over 16,500 trained volunteers, more than halfway to Virginia’s goal of 30,000.

PHASE ONE OF EASING RESTRICTIONS

Governor Northam outlined key benchmarks Virginians can expect in the first phase, which will begin no sooner than two weeks from now to allow for a 14-day downward trend in confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Phase one includes continued social distancing, teleworking, limits on travel and public gatherings, and recommended use of face coverings. Any easing of restrictions will be informed by public health experts, members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, state and local officials, and other stakeholders.

The Commonwealth is developing two sets of guidance: one with broad based recommendations for all businesses, and another with industry specific recommendations for public-facing businesses like restaurants and non-essential retail. The guidance will be provided to businesses in early May.

The slides from today’s presentation are available here.

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