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Governor Announces New Tool to Check COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID Check graphics
Screen capture from the Virginia Department of Health website.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the launch of a new online symptom checker today. Named “COVID Check,” it’s a website and telehealth system designed to help people evaluate possible COVID-19 symptoms.

“You can go online to the VDH website and answer questions about your symptoms,” Northam said. “And the tool will give recommendations about what to do next, such as self isolation, seeing your doctor or seeking emergency care. It also can give you options for where to get tested near you.”

The governor also thanked the National Guard for their support with coronavirus testing.The guard has conducted nearly 11,000 total tests as of Tuesday, and will complete approximately 9,000 tests this week by Sunday.

Northam also thanked them for their emergency response to flooding in southwest Virginia on Thursday. With emergency medical personnel, they helped, “rescue 116 people, four dogs, and yes, two birds,” Northam said.  “This is an important reminder of how much we rely on the National Guard for help during emergencies of all kinds.”

The annual Memorial Day observation at the Virginia War Memorial will be held as a virtual service on Monday. Northam said nearly 13,000 Virginians have died in the line of duty since World War II, and, “I ask all of you to remember and reflect on those sacrifices, and remember their loved ones left behind. Our flags will be at half staff to honor their sacrifice.”

Flags will also be at half-staff to honor people who died from COVID-19, the governor said.

Statewide, testing continues to trend upward, and coronavirus cases trend downward. The governor said he’d have updates on a phase two reopening next week, and on the status of reopening in Northern Virginia and Richmond, which did not join much of the state in entering phase one last week.

Over the Memorial Day weekend holiday, Northam said Virginians should follow safety protocols. Due to heavy rainfall earlier this week, the potential for flooding is high. The governor said to be careful around rivers and mindful of weather forecasts.

He also reiterated standard quarantine procedures. “Even though this is normally a holiday weekend, we still need everyone to be smart and safe this weekend,” Northam said. “Don't gather in large groups, don't crowd parks or natural areas. Remember to maintain your social distancing, and please wear a face covering when you're out in public.”

The governor acknowledged that the unemployment system is not handling the high volume of people out of work. A new call center with 315 employees is being launched to help process claims more quickly. He also announced that SNAP recipients will be able to order groceries online for delivery soon as part of a federal program pilot, which is intended to help members of especially vulnerable communities increase their social distancing and avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

*David Streever and Yasmine Jumaa contributed to this report.