Adjutant General of Virginia COVID-19 Update – March 13, 2020

To the Virginia National Guard Team:

Virginia National Guard leaders are taking the COVID-19 situation seriously, and the health and safety of our force is the top priority. We are continuously monitoring the situation and staying in close coordination with our state and federal partners. This is a fast moving, rapidly changing situation, and we will provide updates as quickly as possible to make sure everyone has the most current information.

We must maintain a high state of personnel and equipment readiness for both our state and federal missions. Leaders should take appropriate measures to protect their personnel and family members, protect our capabilities and support our partners. We have to continue to maintain readiness through training our personnel and maintaining our equipment and facilities, but we will do so using all the appropriate safety precautions.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency March 12, 2020, to allow the Commonwealth to mobilize the resources needed to keep Virginians safe. The declaration activated the VNG and authorized state active duty, but there are no specific requests for assistance at this time. We are in close contact and coordination with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies to evaluate what VNG capabilities could assist the state in their response. We must be prepared in case we receive any requests, so commanders will ensure equipment status and alert rosters are accurate, up to date and ready for use within their respective organizations.

If you are sick or feel like you are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, don’t come to work or report for duty. Please contact your immediate supervisor or chain of command for specific guidance about telework options and sick leave.

Make sure you are getting information from trusted sources, and here are some of the most important web sites to check:

Virginia Department of Health:
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

Center for Disease Control:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Department of Defense Military Health System:
https://health.mil/News/In-the-Spotlight/Coronavirus

Department of Defense Info Site:
https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/

The Virginia Department of Health suggests the following:

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick (the WHO says to stay 3 feet away from someone who is sick).

– Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

– Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you can’t do that, use hand sanitizer.

– If you’re sick, stay home.

– Make sure you cover your mouth and nose — not with your hands — when coughing or sneezing.

– Avoid nonessential travel.

– Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces.

While COVID-19 is a serious public health threat, it is important that people remain calm and follow the guidance from state and federal public health organizations. We know our uniformed personnel, full-time workforce and our families have many questions, but I ask for patience as we work to get answers. We will work through this as a team and do everything we can to stay safe!

Thanks for all you do!

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
28th Adjutant General of Virginia