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Virginia named one of best prepared states to respond to public health emergencies

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Posted at 11:53 AM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 12:54:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia has been named one of the top states in the country best prepared to respond to public health emergencies when they arise, according to the 2020 National Health Security Preparedness Index Report.

The Commonwealth was ranked it tied with Nebraska for second place among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 2020 report.

The report, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Colorado School of Public Health, is compiled based on 64 sources and reflects a comprehensive assessment of state-level emergency preparedness for natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and other calamities that pose large scale threats to public health.

The honor comes as Virginia hospital workers continue to serve on the frontlines during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“It is gratifying to see Virginia’s hard work recognized in the 2020 National Health Security Preparedness Index report,” said Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) Emergency Preparedness Director Kelly Parker.

“None of us ever wants to experience the fallout from public health emergencies, the physical and emotional toll it takes on people, or the economic damage it inflicts. Yet history shows us that major storms, viral outbreaks, and even manmade destructive events occur, unfortunately. That obligates emergency management partners in the public and private sector, including government, health care, public safety and first responders, to plan, prepare, strategize, and drill year-round so we are ready to rise to the occasion when needed.”

In the report, Virginia was ranked above the U.S. average score in each year of the report since 2013. On a 10-point rating scale, the Commonwealth scored a 7.4 while the national average score is 6.8 out of 10.

This is the second national report released in recent months showing that Virginia’s emergency preparedness ranks among the best in the county. Virginia was rated in the highest tier for emergency preparation in the Trust for America’s Health – Ready or Not 2020 Annual Report on Emergency Preparedness.