Gov. Youngkin extends executive order to help Virginia hospitals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic

The order now has a new expiration date of March 22

The executive order extension will help hospitals fight another COVID-19 surge.

ROANOKE, Va. – Governor Glenn Youngkin extends an executive order to help hospitals fight off another COVID-19 surge.

The original order was set to expire Monday, but Virginia hospitals were pushing for the extension.

An executive order to help healthcare providers push through the coronavirus pandemic is now extended for another month.

With the pandemic still putting a strain on hospitals, healthcare leaders were calling for an extension.

Julian Walker with Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association requested an extra 30-60 days.

“Because of staff attrition and staff departures that have been magnified during the pandemic, any additional help, any additional flexibility from the state is welcomed and appreciated,” Walker said.

Youngkin initially announced the temporary state of emergency to help hospitals bounce back from staffing shortage woes.

It created more flexibility for nurses to activate licenses and streamline the process to add more hospital beds.

In a statement, Centra’s PR and Communications Manager Stephanie McBride said they are “not utilizing any of the flexibilities covered in Executive Order 11. However, others around the state may still need them.”

Walker said Virginia approached nearly 4,000 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations last month. Now, it’s about 1,220 COVID-19 hospitalizations a day.

“Even though overall numbers of hospitalizations have been down a lot of patients still need intense care, ICU care and ventilator care,” Walker said. “And so that requires a lot of resources in terms of staffing resources and in terms of physical resources.”

Walker tells me he is appreciative of Youngkin “taking this helpful and important action.”

The order now has a new expiration date of March 22, but an executive order could end up rescinding or amending it in the future.

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.