Congresswoman Elaine Luria assesses hospital needs on Southside and Peninsula amid coronavirus outbreak


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Congresswoman Elaine Luria spent Monday talking with doctors on the Southside and Peninsula.  She wants to make sure health care providers have plenty of resources to help fight coronavirus.

“We really have to look at this as a public health emergency,” Luria said.

That emergency is not only sweeping through the country, but worldwide. New cases of the coronavirus are being reported every day. Some 7,000 people have died from the illness, including two Virginians on the Peninsula. The commonwealth is reporting 51 positive cases of coronavirus as of Monday, March 16.

“We want to understand what resources our hospitals have and need,” Luria said.  “We need to stop the spread and what I have said to people repeatedly is that this is a national emergency and it going to take difficult actions.  It is going to be inconvenient.  It’s going to be a hardship for people to be able to react, but we all have our own personal responsively in this to stop the spread of the virus.”

Luria says Congress is working on a plan to help pay sick leave for Americans.

“85 million people would be covered by that and also provides 90 days of extended family leave,” she said.

In the meantime, she is asking for those who can stay at home for the next couple of weeks to do so.

“We need to understand how the spread can escalate quickly,” Luria said.  “We just have to look to countries like Italy where it has overwhelmed the health care system.”

Luria has been told by doctors things will get worse before they better, and the pandemic is only going to get better by everyone pitching in.

“That’s our real concern is making sure we stop the spread,” Luria said.

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