So, what does a COVID-19 containment strategy look like without the activist governor’s usual go-to tools of mask and vaccination mandates? Governor Glenn Youngkin has provided the answer with the COVID Action Plan he unveiled this morning.
The key elements are: (1) encourage (but don’t compel) people to get vaccinated, (2) help healthcare providers cope with the surge of hospitalizations caused by the Omicron variant, and (3) re-prioritize testing to identify the virus in K-12 students, healthcare professionals, and medically vulnerable individuals.
“Today’s announcements are designed to give Virginians the tools and resources needed to make the best decisions for their families, strengthen our hospital systems, and ensure a strong recovery as we encounter new challenges associated with the pandemic that has become part of our everyday life,” Youngkin said in a press release announcing the plan.
The initiatives follow a Day One executive order prohibiting vaccination mandates. Most of Virginia’s public universities, which had made mandates the centerpiece of their COVID-19 strategies, have announced that they will comply with the order. Battles with local school boards are still being fought over requirements to wear masks in public K-12 schools.
Here are the key elements of the strategy.
Vaccine Marshall Plan for Virginia. Youngkin says he will devote “additional resources and efforts” to encourage the roughly 1.6 million unvaccinated Virginians to get the jab. As the plan notes, data shows that people vaccinated against COVID-19 are one-fourth as likely to be hospitalized as those who are not.
Youngkin will direct state officials to “re-prioritize resources” toward vaccine education and outreach, with an eye toward “disproportionately unvaccinated communities,” host 120 vaccine events, and deploy additional mobile vaccine units to rural areas. The philosophy is to “empower Virginians with choices, not mandates.”
Help for hospitals. Hospitals are overwhelmed with the spike in Omicron patients, which Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association President Sean Connaughton describes as “some of the most challenging circumstances seen since the pandemic began.” The increase in patients is aggravated by burn-out among healthcare workers and chronic manpower shortages. Youngkin’s Executive Order 11 would give hospitals more flexibility to battle the bottlenecks by:
- Exempting scope-of-practice requirements;
- Expanding bed capacity;
- Expanding flexibility, overtime hours, and availability for personal care workers;
- Making it easier for licensed out-of-state nurses to practice in Virginia;
- Expanding the the number of providers who can offer oral therapeutics;
- Reimbursing innovative treatment solutions, including telemedicine, that allow individuals with mild conditions to receive care at home or remotely.
New testing priorities. Given the supply-side constraints to testing capacity, Youngkin will discourage mass testing for purposes of pre-screening, discourage asymptomatic individuals from testing, and urge healthy individuals with mild symptoms to refrain from testing. Unused tests at state agencies will be redeployed to schools, hospitals and nursing facilities.
New guidelines will prioritize the use of rapid tests for:
- Students potentially exposed to COVID-19 who need tests to remain in school;
- Essential health care professionals and other essential workers;
- Vulnerable citizens in nursing facilities, who are over the age of 65 and with serious medical conditions.
Eligibility will be expanded as test supplies increase.
Bacon’s bottom line: I share the philosophical underpinnings of Youngkin’s strategy — I view mandates as a last resort. However, the empiricist in me will insist upon keeping close tabs on the data to see how well Youngkin’s no-mandates plan is working.
Getting more people vaccinated is likely to be tougher than Youngkin expects. If previous educational and outreach efforts stalled at the 70% fully vaccinated mark (27% boosted), it’s not clear what difference additional outreach will make. The problem, I suspect, is not a lack of resources applied to the problem, but the resistance of segments of the population to the vaccination message. Moving the needle requires more than a new social media strategy or fine-tuning the message. It will require addressing the lack of trust in established authority. Frankly, I don’t know if it’s possible to convert the unconverted at this point. If Youngkin wants to be successful, he’ll have to do something different from what his action plan describes.
On the other hand, his proposals to help hospitals cope with manpower shortages and to set new testing priorities make sense. I see no downside to these measures.
At the end of the day, I’m not persuaded that any governor’s actions will make much difference. The pandemic will recede only after it has infected millions of Virginians, and, between vaccines and naturally-acquired resistance, the population approaches herd immunity. Perhaps the most important thing to acknowledge is what Youngkin is not doing — he’s not panicking, he’s not shutting down the economy, and he’s not aggravating the epidemics of mental illness, substance abuse, suicides, and drug overdoses.
Originally published at Bacon’sRebellion.com
The final variant is tyranny.
Israel, the most highly vaxxed country in the world, has more cases of COVID per capita than any other country in the world. Yet, America’s socialist democrats want to continue to inflict misery and death on all Americans regardless of age
Wacky World. While the UK and France are getting rid of COVID mandates, Austria is mandating the vaxx for all 18 and over Austrians. Totalitarianism never really dies in the home of Adolph.
Lockdowns produce interesting work arounds. One library in Europe was shutdown. However, to get around the shutdown, an enterprising librarian installed a barbershop in the library. Library now open to the public.
Vaccines aren’t working for the current ‘Omicron’ mutation of the SARS Cov 2 virus. Follow the SCIENCE! https://odysee.com/@FrontlineCovid19CriticalCareAlliance:c/FLCCC-WEBINAR-011922_FINAL:c?lid=3871ec51c705d2477d8c74958be9fb58ada5725a
I am just beginning to get over Christmas Covid which was given to me by fully vaccinated family members. To minimize my symptoms, I used the FLCCC protocol. I quickly used up the ivermectin only because the American government is making it very difficult to get – FDA and Customs interfered with my latest purchase. Significantly, I got the Ivermectin from India where is is handed out as a prophylactic to its people. Its cost is 3 cents per 12mg pill and it has been given to the folks who live in India’s largest county of 250,000,000 million. Covid has basically disappear in that particular country.
how do you know who gave it to you? You don’t.
Biden is spending COVID Funding on illegal immigration.
You shouldn’t be surprised. The Covid mandate situation is collapsing around the world as it is being discovered that vaccines, social distancing and masking are nothing but “feel good placebos” – except in the case of the vaccines things aren’t so feel good. The smoke and mirrors of government stemming the virus has failed and, worse, has created damaged immune systems for billions of people. The UK, France and a number of other countries have just said they will rescind mandates.
Of course, all that covid wasted funds has to go somewhere, so the Democrats and their RINO friends are diverting it to encourage ever more illegal immigration.
“Frankly, I don’t know if it’s possible to convert the unconverted at this point.”
It’s not possible. We have all had vaccines. All those previous vaccines actually worked. The evidence is clear to any rational thinking human being, these are not vaccines. (And if they are, than they are vaccines that don’t work.) Vaccines prevent the vaccinated from getting the disease the vaccine is designed to stop. None of the Covid jabs do that. No other vaccines require you to wear a mask or distance yourself from people once you are vaccinated, but these do. What benefit exactly do these vaccines confer upon the vaccinated? Nothing. (They now say they help keep people from dying or going to the hospital. But I had just had Covid. I took therapeutics and was fine in 3 days. I am in my 50s, overweight, and have heart disease. Didn’t matter. Now I have stronger immunity than the vaccinated: natural immunity.)
No. There is no reason for any sane person to take this jab. The harder the establishment pushes, the stronger the distance will be. Their restrictions and mitigations made no sense from the start. And we could all see it. Only the terrified swallowed all the crap they shoved at us. Willingly.
The government has zero credibility. This is a power grab. Nothing more.
The CDC changed the definition of “vaccine” a few months ago to accommodate the Pfizer product. The definition of “vaccine” previously was, “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.” On Sept 1, 2021 the CDC changed it to, “A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” The CDC eliminated “immunity” because the COVID19 products don’t actually produce immunity. This is another instance of just how corrupt our government is.
“Getting more people vaccinated is likely to be tougher than Youngkin expects” Well, yeah. The unvaccinated are dumb, stubborn, reality rejecting trumpers
Feel good you got your TDS moment out?
Youngkin seems to think doubling down on vaccination makes sense. Frankly, it doesn’t. He needs to take a different approach. Logically, vaccination ineffectiveness is being exposed, and taking yet another vaccination with their inherent risks doesn’t make sense. Youngkin would be smart to point out the failures of northam’s and Biden’s mandates and put in place a plan to moved forward without ever more vaccinations.
You and Erica have killed a lot of children with your constant anti-therapeutics stupidity. The misery created when a baby, 3 year old, 5 year old, 9 year old, 15 year old, 17 year old dies of an adverse reaction to the Covid Shots is infinite – yet you somehow, in your twisted mind, think it is great. You are the makers of misery and part of the Legions of Satan that Jesus once confronted..
I suggest a strong emphasis on treatments. After a year of vaccine tyranny, those who remain Un vaxxed are looking to other solutions. The prophylactic use of treatments appears to be working well in countries like India.
More of the same is insanity.
This plan is 100% practical. I expect we will see many more like it come from Gov. Youngkin.