Thank you to my fellow state employees.

Dear fellow state employees,

I’ve just returned from briefing Virginians and the news media about COVID-19, and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.   

As a Commonwealth, we have taken extraordinary steps to protect public health and reduce the spread of COVID-19. We have closed non-essential businesses and placed strict restrictions on open establishments. We have banned gatherings of more than 10 people across the Commonwealth, and closed K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. We have secured nursing homes and correctional facilities, and have shut down courts and DMV offices.

These decisions have not been easy. They have a direct and serious impact on every single person in our Commonwealth, including you. You have had your lives disrupted, and your schedules changed. Many of you are working from home. Many of you are working overtime. I know you are worried about what the future holds for yourself and the people you love. I know you are worried about your communities, our Commonwealth, and our nation.

But as a state government, our role is to care for each other, and for the people who are most vulnerable among us. You have met this challenge head-on.

Together, we have eliminated all co-payments for our 1.5 million Medicaid members, and made it easier to access critical medical care. We’ve worked with childcare providers to make sure our essential employees can get to work, and that their children and families are safe. We’ve waived deadlines for unemployment insurance and tax payments, suspended eviction proceedings, secured emergency support for small businesses, and have increased access to emergency food assistance.

And we are working around the clock to expand our hospital capacity, secure medical supplies, and protect our healthcare workers on the front lines.

There is much uncertainty ahead. We know this will not end in a matter of weeks. But the work of the Commonwealth must go on, and you have made sure it does.

I’m very proud to call you my colleagues.