As the nation braces for the coronavirus pandemic, Gov.
Bob McDonnell is planning a map of the Commonwealth that he says will help people in the state avoid becoming infected.
The plan is the result of months of public meetings, meetings with legislators and the governor’s personal recommendations.
McDonnell told a news conference Monday that the maps will be up by mid-December.
The maps, McDonnell said, will show how people in his state are being monitored and how the state has made progress.
“It’s a map that shows our progress, and I think it’s going to be very helpful to Virginians,” he said.
The governor said the maps won’t be available in every county in the Commonwealth, but they will be available “so you can see where we are, where we’re headed and where we need to go.”
The governor said he has “serious concerns” about some counties’ coronaviruses.
“The governor is very concerned about the spread of coronavires,” McDonnell said.
McDonnell said the governor will have the maps up in mid-November, and the maps should be available by the end of the month.
McDonnell has said that the state is doing a better job monitoring its health-care systems than the federal government.
“We have the highest level of health-risk surveillance in the nation, and it’s an area that the governor is deeply committed to,” McDonnell’s spokesman, Michael Cusick, said in an email.
The Virginia Health Care Access Coalition, which represents about 80 hospitals and clinics, issued a statement saying the governor has “repeatedly and repeatedly indicated that he believes the state health care system needs improvement.”
“As a private citizen, Mr. McDonnell will not be asked to fund his own coronaviral surveillance and monitoring efforts, and has made clear that he is unwilling to contribute to any additional cost for health care,” the statement said.
McDonnell, who is also the Democratic nominee to succeed former Gov.
Timothy M. Kaine (D), said that he has a plan to increase the number of health care workers in Virginia.
It’s important to make sure that we have adequate and effective screening, he said, adding that “the governor has been working with the state of Virginia to develop a plan for how we can better increase our health care workforce.”
McAuliffe, a former state health commissioner, also has promised to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
A federal judge ruled in June that the Virginia legislature could raise the wage in its next session, but McAuliffe, a Democrat, argued that it was a local issue.
Paul LePage (R) also announced a plan Monday to increase wages, but he has not outlined specific policies.
In the coming months, a number of governors are scheduled to announce a wide array of measures to boost health care spending, including expanding Medicaid to cover people with income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, opening up the health-insurance exchanges for people with pre-existing conditions, and expanding health insurance to all Virginians by 2019.
Virginia was among the first states to accept Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.