Virginia Has Millions in Protective Gear on the Way

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam
NBC Washington

Virginia has millions of dollars worth of personal protective equipment on the way, including a shipment set to arrive next week from Asia. 

State leaders are working to getting medical workers the supplies they need, Gov. Ralph Northam said in an update Monday on the state’s coronavirus response. 

“We have been working with every angle to get more PPE,” he said. 

The state has a $27 million contract with one company to get a portion of the supplies. Other contracts will allow the state to distribute the equipment. 

As of Monday, 2,878 people in Virginia had been diagnosed and 54 had died. The state has seen case numbers grow fast, with 200 to 300 more confirmed diagnoses each day this month so far. 

Here were other top updates from state officials: 

Genetic Technology: State labs are using genetic technology to learn more about how the virus spreads, how it could change and how to fight it. Northam said Virginia is one of the first states in the nation to use the technology. 

Already, labs have learned that “the virus was introduced in Virginia in multiple communities, rather than spreading from one single source,” Northam said. That means the state didn’t have a “patient zero” who was the initial source of the virus in the state. 

Alternative Care Sites: The state is finalizing contracts for three sites where patients can be treated outside hospitals: the Dulles Expo Center, the Hampton Roads Convention Center and the Richmond Convention Center. Work to build out each site will begin this week. 

Face Masks: The governor asked every resident of the state to wear a face mask when they go out and showed his own face mask. He said he and his staff wear their masks outside but not inside the office.

A Thank-You: Northam thanked residents for staying home over the weekend and abiding by the stay-at-home order he issued March 30.

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