We’ve had a second update from the Virginia Department of Health for how they’re tracking cases. This is helpful for figuring out how to get to phase 1, and subsequent phases.
On the dashboard for testing, we are able now to track percent positive tests under Key Measures. On the VDH website, go to the section under Key Measures HERE; this shows you how many total number of positive cases there are, and the percent positives. As we increase the number of people we test, we’ll have more wrong numbers. What we are looking for are patterns and trends. In order to do that, we need to correct for the variable of the number of people tested by tracking the percent positive. We are seeing a downward trend now.
We have new information from the Governor about what phase 1 looks like. I support the government not being completely prescriptive in everything. They need to set best standards and practices, but some things we need to interpret on our own. We will post this on Facebook and on my website, but looking at the blueprint for Virginia, it shows what phase 1 looks like.
We will continue practicing physical distancing, meaning standing 6 feet apart when available. Make sure not to shake hands and hug when around others. Also make sure to wear a mask when out in public, and enhance cleaning and disinfection. More business will also start opening, but not for gatherings of more than 10 during Phase 1. It is estimated that phase 1 will last approximately 2-4 weeks.
Phase 2 will allow for groups of 50, but also makes sure that we decrease the opportunity for exposure. During Phase 2 if telework is available, that should be practiced. There have been questions about childcare, there are some facilities that are open, and others will continue to open.
Are substitute teachers eligible for unemployment?
Eligibility for unemployment is based on wages earned, and you would have to show your paystubs. If you meet the criteria, you can be offered unemployment. You can go to the website, which is posted on our website, and you can link into the site for unemployment for Virginia and you can fill out the form there.
Who is considered vulnerable? They say the elderly, who counts as elderly? Sometimes it is 65, sometimes it’s 80? What if you are healthy and 65, etc.?
Answer: I will direct you to the Virginia Department of Health HERE. When you go under the first COVID section when looking at the graphs, you can get data based on age. Under demographics, the site will tell you who is sick based on age. You can also click the dropdown box to see why we are worried about age because 67% of people who have died were over the age of 70. Most of the time we are talking about those aged 65 and older. You are vulnerable if you’re over 60. You're likely to do much better if you’re healthy.
There have not been any cases under the age of 10 for transmitting the virus, what are the supports given to child care facilities and daycares for elementary school kids? What about mask wearing for this group in particular? Answer:
The data we have for everything is early. This does not automatically mean that children shouldn’t wear masks. For right now to my knowledge, child care facilities aren’t allowing adults into the building, they are doing outside pick up, surveillance for any symptoms from the family, they’re checking temperatures, but to my knowledge children aren’t wearing masks right now.
What about the recent article that claimed that masks did not help with preventing the transfer of the virus?
This was an early study, this was done on patients that were sick enough to be in isolation rooms in hospitals. I don’t think this study provided enough evidence to determine that masks didn’t work. There are a lot of questions for this study. I think the best early evidence shows us that wearing a mask decreases the likelihood that you’ll spread droplets.