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Gov. Northam Announces New Actions to Expand Health Care Work Force

Doctor Checking the Blood Pressure of a Patient Image by Corbis

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Fifty-Seven, implementing several new policies to bolster Virginia’s health care workforce to assist with the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response. This order comes days after the Governor called for additional medical and non-medical volunteers as part of a statewide effort to combat novel coronavirus. It is estimated that up to 30,000 additional workers are needed in Virginia’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, and public health departments, should a surge occur.

“While we are seeing promising signs in our ongoing fight against COVID-19, we must continue to prepare for all scenarios, and that includes making sure we have to the necessary staff to confront a potential medical surge,” said Governor Northam. “This pandemic is placing extraordinary demands on our doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners, and these policies will enable us to expand our health care workforce so more trained medical professionals can step in and help.”

The order adds physician offices and other health care facilities to the section in Executive Order Fifty-Two allowing hospitals, nursing facilities, and dialysis facilities to have out-of-state licensees provide in-state care. It allows Virginia-licensed nurse practitioners with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement. It provides additional flexibility to hospitals in the supervision of interns, residents, and fellows, and allows hospitals to use fourth year medical students in the provision of care.

Executive Order Fifty-Seven also allows for expanded use of telehealth. Physicians with licenses from another state who have current Virginia patients may continue to treat their patients via telehealth, which will help ensure Virginians who live in border communities do not have to travel out-of-state for care.

The order is in effect through June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order. The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Seven is available here.

For assistance, resources from across state government, and up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Virginia, please visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.

GOV. SPEAKS AFTER TRUMP TWEETS 'LIBERATE VIRGINIA

GOV. SPEAKS AFTER TRUMP TWEETS 'LIBERATE VIRGINIA': Gov. Ralph Northam delivers an update on Virginia’s effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Yesterday, President Trump unveiled plans for states to re-open the economy. Despite telling governors they will ‘call [their] own shots’ on reopening their states, he took a more aggressive approach this morning, tweeting an eerie and violent message: ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!’ Yesterday, about 50 people protested outside the Governor’s mansion demanding an end to Virginia’s stay-at-home order. Virginia currently has 7,491 confirmed cases, and is expected to see a surge in cases and hospital capacity towards the end of April.

Posted by NowThis Politics on Friday, April 17, 2020

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