We’re changing to our new template now where we have weekly updates and weekly conversations to make sure I’m readily accessible and can connect you to the people who can answer your questions if I can’t. I’d like to start with a quick overview of COVID.
Reviewing the cases at the Department of Health, you’ll see we now have a percent positive rate of less than 10%. All of the health experts say we want that number to be at 10% or below, and the state of Virginia is there. The death rate continues to fall, and I’m so happy with those numbers. It is a good reason to keep phasing back into opening the economy fully. There is little to no reason to not open the economy, because a person’s financial health is as important as their physical health.
We got a press release yesterday saying what we think K-12 education might look like. It was not incredibly clear. I’ve not had time to review the entire 126 page document, but I’ve looked at some of the resources. We received an email from the Superintendent of Schools, and I’m going to sort through that. I’ll have more information to give you next Wednesday when we talk about education and COVID. There’s a lot to talk about, and a lot of you have kids dealing with this.
In my weekly focus groups, I’ve had teachers ask what they’re supposed to do if their school is on a different schedule than their own children. I’m going to find out what information we have from the information we’ve already been given, and I’m going to ask all your questions to the state to fill in the holes in our information. And as always, push them to continue opening the economy on a predictable schedule.
What does phase three look like for the economy?
We are in phase two, and we have been since last Friday. We know what that means, 50 or less in groups, limited capacity in restaurants and outside venues. We’re looking to see what phase three will look like, but we don’t know when that will happen yet. This goes back to needing predictability. Schools and businesses need to know what to expect. It would be very helpful for the Governor to provide some information about when that is likely to happen, even understanding that some things can disrupt that. We will definitely keep you informed.
We don’t know what phase three will look like, but we can assume it would be 100% capacity at restaurants, but we’re not sure.
I’d really like to talk about the things we have in common, coming out from the protests and riots from the past few weeks as we struggle as a culture to make sure there’s equality, respect and security for all. I think this is a universal value. We need to make sure that anyone who breaks the law is held accountable, but we also need to make sure there’s a way that we can challenge our systems and what we have in place to make sure we absolutely stamp out any inequality in how our system works. There will be people who unfortunately hold biases, and I hope those people work to overcome those. But separately we need to make sure our systems work so everyone has equal opportunity.
If you’ve been listening for a while you know that I like to find out what we have in common, and find ways we can achieve our goals. First, I would suggest the system we have in place is really set up to help people survive, but not thrive. Most of the safety nets we have in terms of government programs help people survive, but don't help them get out of poverty, they don’t help people reach the American Dream. When looking at the two variables that help families develop wealt