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No vehicle safety inspection enforcement among Virginia’s new actions in fight against the coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. – On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced new steps he’s taking to protect public health and support Virginians as they attempt to limit the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

These measures include eliminating co-pays for Medicaid services, suspending enforcement of vehicle safety inspections for 60 days and suspending visitation to state correctional facilities.

Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of these new initiatives.

Health care:

  • Eliminating co-pays for services covered by Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), including COVID-19-related treatment as well as other medical care.
  • Ensuring current Medicaid members do not inadvertently lose coverage due to lapses in paperwork or a change in circumstances.
  • Permitting Medicaid members to obtain a 90-day supply of many routine prescriptions, an increase from the 30-day supply under previous rules.
  • Waiving pre-approval requirements for many critical medical services and enacting automatic extensions for approvals that are already in place.
  • Expanding access to telehealth services, including allowing Medicaid reimbursement for providers who use telehealth with patients in the home.

Vehicle inspections:

  • Northam directed state police to stop enforcing vehicle safety inspections for 60 days.

Justice system:

  • All in-person visitation to state correctional facilities has been suspended.
  • The Virginia Department of Corrections has also suspended all transfers from local and regional jails for the next 30 days.

Child care:

  • Childcare providers should limit capacity to 10 total individuals per room and prioritize care for children of essential personnel.
  • Children should eat meals in their own classrooms and increase distance as much as possible, such as allowing only one classroom at a time to go outside and staggering exits and entrances to reduce contact.
  • Staff and children should focus on basic health precautions, including regular hand washing and cleaning frequently touched objects.
  • Expanding eligibility for school-aged children currently designated for part-day care to full-day care.
  • Increasing the number of paid absences from 36 to 76 days for both level 1 and level 2 providers.
  • Automatically extending eligibility for families due for eligibility redetermination in the near future by 2 months and temporarily suspending the requirement for face-to-face interviews.

Businesses:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Virginia on Thursday. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Virginia affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. To learn more, click here.
  • While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020. Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.

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