Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state is continuing to progress as the percent positivity of COVID-19 cases trends downward. Testing and contact tracing are two of the key components in the state's efforts to combat the pandemic.
Virginia has 33,208 confirmed cases and 1,100 deaths from COVID-19 as of Friday. Northam said that over 4,000 coronavirus tests were conducted at community events in the past week in Woodbridge, Manassas and Lessburg.
There are 44 more community events planned for the coming week with an anticipated 17,000 tests to be administered.
After President Trump announced that places of worship would be deemed essential, Northam said that he already placed them on the same level of operations as retail stores in his Phase 1 reopening plan. They are permitted to open at 50% capacity with social distancing measures in place.
As for the economy, Northam said that April saw an increase in unemployment to 10.6%. Prior to the pandemic, Virginia's unemployment rate was at 2.8%. Northam said that the jump was expected given the current conditions, and that 720,000 people have filed for unemployment. insurance.
The state is opening a new call center with about 300 additional employees to help answer questions and process claims.
With the holiday weekend ahead, Northam urged Virginians to continue observing the stay-at-home order and follow social distancing and face covering guidelines.