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State receives disaster declaration

Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced that Virginia has received a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in the commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Northam requested this federal disaster assistance on March 30.

A Major Disaster Declaration provides federal public assistance for all areas in Virginia affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent. This allows state agencies, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations to purchase additional supplies and receive reimbursements for COVID-19 related costs under its Public Assistance program. In addition, the Major Disaster Declaration authorizes federal agencies to provide direct emergency assistance to Virginia.

“We thank the federal government for moving quickly to approve Virginia’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration,” said Northam. “This critical funding will support our ongoing, statewide efforts to fight this virus in our Commonwealth and keep Virginians safe.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia rose almost 15 percent from Wednesday to Thursday.

There are now 1,706 cases out of 17,589 people who have been tested. There have been 246 hospitalizations and 41 deaths.

In Thursday morning’s report, the Western Tidewater Health District now has 17 cases — eight in Isle of Wight County, six in Suffolk, two in Southampton County and one in Franklin.

On March 27, the Commonwealth received authorization for Title 32 funding to support the Virginia National Guard. Additional actions Virginia has taken to protect the health and safety of all Virginians amid the COVID-19 outbreak include issuing a statewide stay at home order, closing all K-12 schools in Virginia through the remainder of the academic year, and mandating strict social distancing guidelines.

For additional resources and information about Virginia’s COVID-19 response, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.