Virginia’s governor reflects on COVID-19 decisions, impacts and fallout

Virginia’s governor reflects on COVID-19 decisions, impacts and fallout

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s governor says the state is in a much better place today than it was one year ago, when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the commonwealth.

“It almost feels like it’s going to be back, like the roaring twenties,” said Governor Ralph Northam, (D) Virginia.

Northam has high hopes about what is on the horizon, post-pandemic in Virginia.

“People have been cooped up for so long, and they want to get out and travel,” said Northam.

But as Northam looks back on the past year, he still has concerns about the state’s response and the future fallout.

“I worry about long-term ramifications. There were so many unknowns,” said Northam.

March 7, 2020, marked the state’s first COVID-19 case. Northam says the early days seemed like they were just putting out hot spots left and right.

He recalled all the issues the state had with getting COVID-19 tests, lab turnaround delays and supply issues of masks, gowns and gloves.

Then came, what Northam calls, a very tough decision March 23, 2020 to help flatten the COVID-19 case curve.

“Difficult decisions were made closing schools, businesses being shut down, people out of work especially in the hospitality industry, restaurants, hotels. This has been a very, very difficult year for Virginians,” said Northam.

The governor is also concerned about the negative impact virtual learning is having on children and their mental health.

“I am hopeful that if we can continue to keep the numbers down that we can get our children back in school this fall,” said Northam.

The governor’s executive orders, on schools, businesses, and an eventual statewide mask mandate would spark protest and flat out defiance.

But Northam is now looking forward with a clearer vision. COVID-19 cases are down, under 1,000 daily, for the first time in months.

Meanwhile, vaccinations are up, with the state now hitting the governor’s daily goal of 50,0000 shots a day. All signs that, one year later, things are improving in Virginia.

“Every day is better,” said Northam.

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