Almost 900 COVID-19 cases in Virginia with 22 deaths

Gov. Northam holds Friday's briefing as more than 600 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In his latest update to the commonwealth, Governor Ralph Northam said it could take weeks to get testing and protective medical supplies because of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Northam, along with Maryland and Washington D.C. leaders, is asking President Donald Trump to federalize testing in these places due to supply chain issues.

The Virginia Finance Secretary says the federal stimulus package would give Virginia $3.3 billion, where $1.8 billion would go directly to state and $1.5 billion to cities and localities.

The Army Corps. of Engineers is also working with the Virginia Department of Health to identify sites across Virginia that could be used for excess hospital bed space over the concern of a surge in patients due to COVID-19.

There are now 890 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Virginia with 122 patients hospitalized and at least 22 people dead.

Governor Ralph Northam will continue to update the commonwealth on the coronavirus outbreak on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The current number of confirmed cases stands at 890, but experts expect that to continue to climb as more tests and supplies become available.

Northam says there is a need for additional medical personnel and volunteers. Northam also said the state is reworking licensing procedures, considering using medical students and the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps, which has more than 8,000 deployable volunteers and 1,500 people have volunteered in the past month.

Northam is asking for volunteers with medical experience, as well as medical students or student nurses.

Northam says that public schools will remain closed for the rest of the current school year and certain types of businesses, like bowling alleys, gyms and theaters, must close in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The closures took effect at midnight on Tuesday, March 24 and will last at least 30 days.

Further information from Gov. Northam’s Office on businesses impacted can be found, HERE. Anyone with questions related to a business can email business@virginia.gov.

The governor has continually said that COVID-19 will continue to impact the commonwealth for months, not weeks.

Northam says he’s making his decisions in the response to COVID-19 based on science and data and takes full responsibility as governor.

So far, 22 Virginians have died from the virus, and it has now spread to all regions of the state.

Governor Northam says social distancing remains the key to stopping the spread and encouraged people to stay off beaches and away from parties, saying “this is not a vacation."

Rewatch the Governor’s previous briefings here:

Stay tuned to NBC12.com for more updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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