Governor takes action to expand Virginia's health care workforce

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 16:55:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 57 on Friday, which implements new policies that increase Virginia's healthcare workforce to help the COVID-19 response.

The order adds physicians offices and other health care facilities to the section in Executive Order 52 that allows hospitals, nursing facilities and dialysis facilities with out-of state licensees provide in-state care.

It also gives hospitals the flexibility of the supervision of interns, residents and fellows and allows them to use fourth year medical students to help with patient care.

This comes days after the Governor called for additional medical and non-medical volunteers.

It is estimated that up to 30,000 additional workers are needed in Virginia's health care facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, in the case of a surge.

“While we are seeing promising signs in our ongoing fight against COVID-19, we must continue to prepare for all scenarios, and that includes making sure we have to the necessary staff to confront a potential medical surge,” said Northam. “This pandemic is placing extraordinary demands on our doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners, and these policies will enable us to expand our health care workforce so more trained medical professionals can step in and help."

The order also expands the use of telehealth and allows physicians with licensees from another states treat their in-state patients via telehealth in order to prevent out-of state-travel.

The order is in effect through June 10 unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order. The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Seven is available here.