Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response consists of two divisions which are also the central point of contact for Emergency Management and Emergency Communications (911).

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Jul 20

Team Norfolk COVID-19 Update – July 20, 2020

Posted on July 20, 2020 at 10:28 AM by Daniel Hudson


This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 945 additional confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 4 new deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.

Currently, there are 78,375 total cases in Virginia and 2,031 deaths with a 7.7% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.

Norfolk is credited with 2,214 total cases and 20 deaths with a 15.4% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.

According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 1,158 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 10,100 confirmed COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized and discharged.  

Last week Governor Ralph Northam announced the adoption of the statewide emergency workplace safety standards. The newly adopted, first-in-the-nation, pandemic workplace safety rules require all employers to mandate physical distancing measures and face coverings for employees in customer-facing positions and when social distancing is not possible.

The new standards also require that employees be informed if a coworker tests positive for COVID-19 within 24 hours.

These temporary emergency standards will remain in effect for six months. For more information on this, view this week’s Incident Action Plan.

During his press conference last week, Governor Northam stressed the importance of wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing after the Hampton Roads area began to see a rise in cases of COVID-19. He announced the Virginia Department of Health will deploy 100 workers to help with COVID-19 enforcement statewide.

Talking to business owners, Northam said that "If a patron of your establishment is violating the rules, you have the ability to say no. It's just like the signs in so many store windows that say no shirt, no shoes, no service. Now it should be no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service."

With this, the Virginia Department of Health created an online complaint form to report an establishment for violations of Executive Order 63, the requirement of face coverings, and Executive Order 67, the capacity requirements. Complaints related only to Executive Order 63 and 67 that involve face coverings or capacity requirements may be filed with this form.

In other news, yesterday a record high temperature of 102 degrees was set in Norfolk. This broke the old record of 101 degrees set in 1942. Today is going to be hot as well, as the heat index value is expected to soar into the 110-115-degree range.

The heat index values tell us how hot it feels when the relative humidity is factored into the air temperature.

Staying hydrated and comfortable is your best defense against heat-related illness.

If you must work outside, drink at least two cups of water before you head out. Apply plenty of sunscreen and take regular breaks. OSHA recommends that if you work one hour outside, you should take a 15-minute break.

During this heatwave, do not forget about your children or pets.

Never leave children or pets unattended inside parked cars. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rise rapidly to a suffocating, dangerous level for children, pets, and even adults within minutes.

Remember, if it is too hot for you to be outside for an extended period of time, it's too hot for them also.

Finally, make sure to check on your family and friends to make sure they stay safe in the heat, and do not forget about your elderly neighbors.

Be safe and have a great week,


Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response