Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday available projection models show COVID-19 cases in Virginia could surge between late April and late May.
In explaining his stay-at-home order, which extends until June 10, Northam said, "I want Virginians to prepare themselves for the long haul."
During the regular briefing by the governor and state health officials, Dr. Norman Oliver, Virginia Health Commissioner, said officials are working on models that project the spread and peak of the outbreak, and they hope to be able to share Virginia-specific models in just days.
Northam also said the state has received a third shipment of PPE — personal protective equipment for medical workers — from the national stockpile, but he said we still need more.
"PPE remains a critically important issue," said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey.
Vice President Pence tours Walmart distribution center in Virginia
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday traveled to Gordonsville, a town in Orange County, to tour a Walmart distribution center and highlight the importance of its supply chain amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Pence, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, thanked workers at the center, about 65 miles northwest of Richmond, for being “on the frontlines” and “putting food on the table for Americans,” according to a pool report from Gabby Orr, Politico’s White House correspondent.
Orr reports that one of the workers who oversees the loading dock wore a camouflage Trump hat and told Pence he’s been working there since 1996.
Orr reports that an employee cleaned the handle of a phone with a Clorox wipe to let the vice president speak over the intercom. Pence was introduced by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
“Thank you for doing a great job and keeping food on the table for the American people,” Pence said.
“We’re grateful for our farmers. We’re grateful for our grocery store operators. We’re grateful for Walmart.”
“The fact that you’re showing up every day – rolling your sleeves up and doing the work – it shows you love your neighbor and you love your country... Every day you come here, you’re making a difference for America.”
He added: “Here’s to that day in the future when we put the coronavirus in the past and come back stronger than ever before.”
Before his remarks, Pence chatted with Earnest Allen, a delivery truck driver for Walmart Transportation.
“I had to come out and see a truck driver. You guys are burning up miles every day making sure the American people have food, supplies,” Pence said.
At the end of their conversation, Pence told Allen: “I’ll come back for that handshake. God bless you.”
- Andrew Cain