Governor issues COVID emergency order

January 10, 2022

Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in response to hospitals and health care providers becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

In a press release today, Northam announced a 30-day emergency order that relaxes licensing requirements temporarily so that hospitals can make more beds available, facilities can increase staff numbers and public health agencies can have greater flexibility in responding to the pandemic.

Overall, Virginia has one of the nation’s lowest virus case rates and death rates per capita and ranks in the top 10 most vaccinated states, the governor noted.

However, Southwest Virginia is among the regions still suffering high case rates, high hospitalization rates and low vaccination rates.

Meanwhile, Northam noted, the highly infectious omicron variant of the virus has increased the number of people coming to hospitals. “The overwhelming majority of individuals hospitalized have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Statewide, more than 3,500 people are hospitalized with the virus, the governor said.