Virginia Resources Updated: August 26, 2021
North Carolina Resources Updated: November 8, 2021
List of top sources for COVID-19 (Virginia):
Commonwealth of Virginia Official COVID-19 Website
This website is a comprehensive resource with information about official promotions, guidance, updates and information about the new coronavirus. The Ministry of Social Services recently launched a website to streamline access to resources and guidance for citizens.
On May 14, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 79 regarding ending “healthy public health restrictions due to COVID-19” effective May 28, 2021. The EO recommends Virginians continue to apply safety precautions and wear masks as recommended by Centers for Disease Control Guidance.
If a person is not fully vaccinated, they should continue to wear a mask indoors and outdoors in a crowded area; if a person is fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in “significantly high transmission” areas. There are some institutions where masks are required, including some federal, state, and local office buildings. Employers and employees must follow the mask requirements set forth in the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) Final Standing Standard.
On August 12, 2021, Governor Northam issued a public health emergency ordinance requiring universal masking in all indoor settings in all public and private K-12 schools. This sequence is consistent with mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC.
Here’s a link to all of the Governor’s executive orders and guidelines.
If you have any business or industry specific questions, please feel free to contact our Government Relations team.
Additional Resources COVID-19 (Virginia):
Virginia Employment Commission http://www.vec.virginia.gov/
- Governor Northam has ordered the Virginia Employment Commission commissioner to waive the one-week wait for benefits.
- Information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses and benefits for employees previously not covered by traditional unemployment insurance.
- Employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits if their employer has to temporarily delay or stop work due to COVID-19. If an employee has been cautioned to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and does not receive paid sick leave or medical leave from his or her employer, he or she may be eligible for unemployment benefits. In addition, an employee may be eligible for unemployment benefits if he or she is required to stay at home to care for a sick relative and not receive paid medical leave from his or her employer.
- Virginia Employment Commission will give affected employees special attention to deadlines, mandatory reassignment agreements and job search requirements.
Ministry of Health: www.vdh.virginia.gov
- Symptoms of COVID-19 information.
- Share the facts about the COVID-19 source.
- A daily update on the number of Virginians tested and the number of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Department of Medical Assistance (Medicaid): www.dmas.virginia.gov
- Eliminating all co-payments for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), including COVID-19-related treatment and other medical care.
- Making sure current Medicaid recipients don’t accidentally lose coverage due to paperwork or a change in circumstances.
- Allowing Medicaid recipients to receive a 90-day supply of many routine prescriptions, up from the 30-day supply under previous rules.
- Waive pre-approval requirements for many critical medical services and introduce automatic renewals for approvals already in effect.
- Expanding access to telehealth services, including allowing Medicaid reimbursement for providers who use telehealth services in patients’ homes.
Minister of Commerce and Commerce: https://www.commerce.virginia.gov/covid-19/
- Resources for Virginia businesses affected by COVID-19, including federal loan programs and tax relief programs for small and large businesses.
- Resources from government agencies for businesses.
- Managed by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the ReBuild Virginia grant fund provides support to small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by COVD-19. Funds can be used to meet financial obligations and operating expenses and to offset additional operating expenses due to COVID-19 restrictions. Additional information and the application can be funded here.
COVID-19 KEY SOURCE LIST (North Carolina):
North Carolina Official COVID-19 Website
This website is a comprehensive resource on North Carolina’s response to COVID-19.
Williams Mullen COVID-19 Legal Updates
Williams Mullen’s attorneys continue to serve our clients and have assisted by compiling a Legal Resources page with warnings about federal and state actions related to COVID-19. You can sign up by email to receive legal warnings and updates as soon as they are published.
Governor Roy Cooper has announced that effective September 1, 2021, employees of agencies that are part of the governor’s office or headed by members of the governor’s office who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo regular tests on COVID-19. In addition, from August 2, 2021, face coverings will be mandatory for all cabinet employees who have not been fully vaccinated. The face-covering requirement for unvaccinated cabinet employees applies in any indoor space, within a state government office, building, or facility, i.e., which is operated by an agency that is part of the Governor’s Office or headed by a member of the Governor’s Cabinet . Cabinet members who are fully vaccinated and who wish to avoid testing and wearing masks must have their vaccination status verified. These provisions, which apply to approximately 55,000 state employees, are contained in Executive Order 224.
The governor encouraged other government agencies, local authorities, private companies and organizations to adopt the measures in EO 224. He added that all public and private schools should require all students, school staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings in all K-12 schools.
Here is a link to the FAQ document on EO 224.
Governor Cooper previously announced in July 2021 that the executive order requiring masks in certain settings (e.g., schools, prisons, healthcare facilities, public transportation and childcare facilities) would not be extended and would expire at the end of July 2021. , the decision on whether or not to make masks compulsory in schools will be made at the local level.
Section 4.14 of SB 704, enacted at the 2020 Legislative Assembly, provides immunity to essential businesses with respect to any customer or employee’s claims for injury or death allegedly caused as a result of the customer or employee having COVID-19 incurred while doing business with or while you are employed by the Essential Company, so long as there has been no act or omission of the Essential Company that amounted to gross negligence, reckless misconduct or willful damage. This provision is applied to restaurants (even if they were not originally open as “essential businesses”).
Section 3D.7.(a) of SB 704 contains a health care provider immunity provision that is nearly identical to the essential corporate immunity provision.
Later in the 2020 Legislative Assembly, HB 118 was approved by the General Assembly. This legislation provides immunity to individuals, government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and other legal entities (collectively, “person”) from legal claims alleging that the person’s act or omission caused a third party to contract COVID-19. Any act or omission that constitutes gross negligence, willful or willful conduct or willful misconduct is not covered. Immunity shall apply to claims arising on or after July 2, 2021 and shall remain in effect for claims arising no later than 180 days after the expiration or termination of Executive Order 116 (the Executive Order of the Governor declaring a state of emergency in response on COVID-19).
The immunity provision in this legislation has some notable features that are not present in the immunity provision contained in SB 704. First, it applies to a universe of entities that go beyond just essential companies. Second, it is not limited to customer or employee claims. And finally, it is in effect for a longer period of time (claims arising no later than 180 days after the expiration or termination of Executive Order 116 vs. the expiration or termination of Executive Order 116).
Local Government Regulations
On August 6, 2021, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) transitioned to use the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s COVID-19 Community Transmission Map (Map) to monitor COVID-19 activity in the counties of North Carolina. Updated daily, the map measures the level of community transmission in each province using a combination of the total number of cases per 100,000 population and the percentage of positivity over the past seven days.
The map categorizes the level of community transmission in all 100 provinces as: high, substantial, medium, or low. CDC guidelines recommend that everyone wear a mask in all indoor public areas if you live in areas with high or substantial levels. From November 8e, 66 NC counties have a high level of community transfer, 30 counties have a substantial level, and four counties have an intermediate level.
The CDC COVID Data Tracker can be found here.
Additional Resources for COVID-19 (North Carolina):
NC Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/
- Number of COVID-19 cases.
- Numbers to call or text for COVID-19 help.
- COVID-19 symptoms and health tips.
- Past COVID-19 briefings.
- The COVID-19 overview page can be found here.
- Information about testing and treating COVID-19 can be found here.
NC Department of Commerce: https://www.nccommerce.com/
- The North Carolina Employment Security Division publishes instructions and guidelines to help employers and employees understand the new changes in the state’s unemployment system related to COVID-19, which you can find here.
NC Judicial Department: https://www.nccourts.gov/
- Visit the COVID-19 updates page for local announcements, changes, and administrative orders by province.
NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv
- Learn more about extensions and what services can be run online here.
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services: http://www.ncagr.gov/
- Information on food safety can be found here.
- FAQs on COVID-19 and agriculture, critical business and critical infrastructure, and facility updates can be found here.
COVID-19 Additional Resources (Federal):
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
United States Department of Labor: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/control-prevention#health
Travel advice: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/