Recap of Gov. Northam’s Twitter Q&A

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam invited Virginians to ask him questions Thursday during a live Q&A on Twitter.

Below is a breakdown of his answers on Twitter and you can read the entire thread here:

Rent payments

All eviction proceedings are suspended until April 26. Gov. Northam and his administration are working on a program to defer mortgage payments for mortgages backed by VHDA. Read more about it here.

Unemployment

Virginians who are employed part time and or have had their hours reduced can apply for unemployment. Gov. Northam said he directed the Virginia Employment Commission to expand their eligibility two weeks ago.

SNAP Benefits

No Virginia family should go without the services they need due to COVID-19, Gov. Northam said. VDSS has issued emergency snap benefits and will do so again on April 16. Families receiving TANF can apply for a one-time emergency benefit of $500.

Waivers for teacher licences

Teachers who are concerned about their licence renewals can find a variety of waivers here.

Supply shortage

When asked about using supplies from school districts since schools are closed, Gov. Northam said his team is on it. They have already requested any personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies not needed by school staff to be donated.

Gov. Northam said they are working closely with the federal government, however, the lack of national supply chain has been frustrating.

“The more PPE, more tests availability we have, the sooner we will get this health crisis behind us,” Gov. Northam said.

National Guard

Gov. Northam said the Virginia National Guard has about 150 personnel supporting the Commonwealth’s coronavirus response. They help transport supplies and figure out emergency logistics.

“As we find areas where we need more capabilities or resources are spread thin, I will mobilize additional VNG to help fill any gaps,” the Governor said.

General Assembly session

Gov. Northam said his administration is working with the General Assembly on a plan for how they can safely conduct the scheduled reconvened session on April 22.

Northam said he has been reviewing legislation and signing bills to make sure the Commonwealth meets the April 11 deadline.

Flattening the curve

Gov. Northam said they are developing a Virginia-specific model that will help them see when the virus may peak in different parts of the state.

“We want all Virginians to be prepared for this to last months, not weeks,” Gov. Northam said.

Social distancing

If you have a neighbor who is having gatherings of 10 people or more, Northam said to remind them that this is a serious crisis.

“Not only can you be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the ban on 10-person gatherings, but you’re putting yourself and others at risk,” Gov. Northam said.

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