Updated: Apr 30, 2020
To the Constituents of the 19th District:
I wanted to take a moment to update you and share several resources related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As your Delegate, I want to ensure that you and your family have the necessary information to stay updated, safe, and healthy.
Governor Northam announced Tuesday that all K-12 schools will be closed through the end of this school year. In addition to school closures, non-essential businesses will close for a period of at least 30 days. Executive Order 53 can be viewed HERE.
I encourage you to read this document for answers to the most frequently asked questions about what orders are currently in place for Virginia, including information on school closures and guidelines for businesses.
You can stay up to date with various health and safety measures being recommended by state officials by clicking here.
The Supreme Court of Virginia has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings to suspend through April 6th. This includes a suspension in eviction hearings. If you have ongoing matters before the courts, you may wish to reach out to your attorney or the appropriate clerk’s office for specific questions.
The DMV has closed its service centers through April 2nd. Virginians with business before the DMV are encouraged to perform their transactions online. For those who must appear in person for license renewal or other similar business, a 60 day deadline extension will be granted for all expirations occurring before May 15. Click here for more details.
The Virginia State Police have also been instructed to not enforce the state’s vehicle inspection program for 60 days. If your vehicle inspection is about to expire, you have an additional two months to drive without fear of a citation. Click here for more information.
The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has ordered all publicly regulated utility companies to suspend disconnections for a period of 60 days.
Governor Northam has banned gatherings of 10 or more people across the Commonwealth, leaving most restaurants to function in a “take-out/delivery” mode if they remain open. He also announced that some Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations will remain suspended, and restaurants can deliver/offer for takeout beer and wine with meals.
The standard one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits has been waived. If you or someone you know has lost their job or had a significant reduction in hours due to Coronavirus, visit the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to file a claim.
Please note that VEC offices are closed to the public. Online and phone services remain open, and the Commission is adding to their call center capacity daily.
Small Business Assistance
If you’re a business owner, the Small Business Administration has been given authority to grant low-interest loans to all parts of Virginia. If that sort of assistance can help your small business keep the lights on, I encourage you to click the link below and fill out the application.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding Coronavirus, including recommendations on social distancing and precautions for high-risk individuals. Click here to access that information.
For a comprehensive list of actions taken by Governor Northam, click HERE.
This crisis is a significant disruption to everyone’s daily lives. It is a challenge unlike anything we’ve faced in modern Virginia history. My office is monitoring the situation in Virginia closely and will keep you advised as we learn more.
Delegate Terry Austin
19th House District