A number of actions were taken on Thursday to provide Virginians with increased protection and guidance during the coronavirus epidemic.
According to a press release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office, the following actions were taken.
Working with the Department of Medicaid Assistance Services, the governor eliminated all co-payments for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), including COVID-19 treatment, as well as other medical care; is permitting recipients to obtain a 90-day supply of many medications (an increase from the 30-day supply under previous rules); is waiving pre-approval for many critical medical services; and is expanding access to telehealth services, a press release stated.
The U.S. Small Business Administration approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Virginia, enabling businesses affected by the COBID-19 public health crisis to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. Application can be made at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
The Virginia Department of Social Services is modifying the state’s Child Care Subsidy program by expanding eligibility for school-aged children from partial day to full day care, increasing the number of paid absences from 36 to 76 days for level 1 and 2 providers, and automatically extending eligibility re-determination in the near future by two months and temporarily suspending the requirement for face-to-face interviews.
Prisons and jails
Under a coordinated effort by local, regional and state public safety agencies, the Virginia Department of Corrections has suspended all in-person visits to state correctional facilities, and has suspended all transfers from local and regional jails for the next 30 days. It is also complying with U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The governor’s office has also recommended that criminal justice officials allow sentence modifications that can reduce jail populations, divert offenders from being admitted to jail before trial by issuing summonses instead of making arrests and using pretrial programs as available, consider ways to reduce low-risk offenders who are being held without bail, and use home electronic monitoring instead of incarceration.
Finally, the governor has directed the Virginia Department of State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections for 60 days.