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COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

HOUSE OF DELEGATES
RICHMOND

TIM HUGO
COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS:
LEE J. CARTER TRANSPORTATION
POST OFFICE BOX 243 FINANCE
MANASSAS, VIRGINIA 20108 COUNTIES, CITIES AND TOWNS
FIFTIETH DISTRICT

21 March, 2020

Governor Ralph S. Northam


Post Office Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218

Governor Northam,

In recognition of the unique health challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and the
lack of adequate response from the federal government, I am calling on you to take immediate
action to protect the lives of all Virginians. If allowed to continue on its current trajectory,
estimates from epidemiologists show that COVID-19 could infect more than 70% of the US
population within the next six months. An infection rate that high and that rapid would likely
result in hundreds of thousands of deaths in Virginia from the direct effects of the virus alone,
and an unknown number of additional preventable deaths from other conditions which will go
untreated due to lack of hospital and healthcare capacity during the crisis.

While the efforts currently being taken by the Commonwealth are commensurate to the
official number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, the available evidence of
community spread suggests that the official total of confirmed cases is far below the actual
number of infections. Healthcare providers throughout the Commonwealth are currently seeing
an influx of patients with symptoms that suggest COVID-19 but who are unable to be tested.
These healthcare providers are also unable to acquire adequate supplies of personal protective
equipment (PPE) to prevent nosocomial transmission from these patients to others within the
healthcare setting.

Additionally, what has been seen in other countries like China and Italy who are already in the
midst of this crisis is a significant spike in demand for hospital beds, far beyond capacity, that
lags behind mass exposure to infection by several weeks. I am encouraged by today’s Executive
Order Number Fifty-Two, which aims to address this concern, but that order alone is insufficient.

As such, the time to act is before large numbers of Virginians require hospitalization, not
when they arrive. I am calling for you to take the following actions immediately, all of which
have been implemented in other parts of the United States:

 Order all Virginians to shelter in place within their homes, except for work on food and
medical supply distribution, critical infrastructure, or life and safety

DISTRICT: (571) 606-7299 • RICHMOND: (804) 698-1050 ▪ EMAIL: DELLCARTER@HOUSE.VIRGINIA.GOV


 Order the immediate closure of all bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues to all but
delivery and carry-out service
 Begin the immediate conversion of unused facilities such as schools, shelters, and hotels
to increase surge healthcare and isolation capacity
 Immediately provide for temporary accommodation of all unhoused people within the
Commonwealth
 Order the immediate suspension of all non-critical medical and dental procedures to
preserve PPE supplies for critical care
 Take necessary steps to ensure prompt and regular COVID-19 testing for all healthcare
workers with suspected exposure, to prevent spread within healthcare facilities

Taking these steps now carries the potential to save tens of thousands of lives. I urge you to
undertake these actions without delay.

Sincerely,

Lee J. Carter
Delegate
Virginia’s Fiftieth District

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