Governor Ralph Northam, MD Declares a State of Emergency for Virginia

On September 8, 2018, I declared that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia based on the need to prepare and coordinate our response for potential impacts from Hurricane Florence. National Weather Service forecasts indicate Hurricane Florence could produce damaging winds, periods of heavy rainfall, power outages, and flooding in the Commonwealth. These conditions have the potential to impact life safety and create significant transportation issues throughout Virginia.

State action is required to protect the health and general welfare of Virginia residents. The anticipated effects of this situation constitute a disaster wherein human life and public and private property are, or are likely to be, imperiled, as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia, as Governor and as Director of Emergency Management, and by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia and by § 44-75.1 of the Code of Virginia, as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Commonwealth, and subject always to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby proclaim a state of emergency exists. Accordingly, I direct state and local governments to render appropriate assistance to prepare for the impacts of Hurricane Florence, to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation, and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible.

Read the full executive order including measures A through W ordered by the Governor. 

Sections J, M, S, T, U relate directly to physicians and health care providers, specifically regarding the rendering of aid, emergency services, or health care. They are below:

J. Provision of appropriate assistance, including temporary assignments of non-essential state employees to the Adjunct Emergency Workforce, be rendered by state agencies to respond to this situation.

M. Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to act, when appropriate, on behalf of their regulatory boards to waive any state requirement or regulation where the federal government has waived the corresponding federal or state regulation based on the impact of events related to this situation.

S. During this declared emergency, any person who holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any state or political subdivision thereof, evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, the person, without compensation other than reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses, may render aid involving that skill in the Commonwealth during this emergency. Such person shall not be liable for negligently causing the death of, or injury to, any person or for the loss of, or damage to, the property of any person resulting from such service as set forth in § 44-146.23(C) of the Code of Virginia. Additionally, members and personnel of volunteer, professional, auxiliary, and reserve groups identified and tasked by the State Coordinator of Emergency Management for specific disaster-related mission assignments, as representatives of the Commonwealth engaged in emergency services activities within the meaning of the immunity provisions of § 44-146.23(A) of the Code of Virginia, shall not be liable for the death of, or any injury to, persons or damage to property as a result of such activities, as provided in § 44-146.23(A) of the Code of Virginia.

T. Designation of physicians, nurses, and other licensed and non-licensed health care providers and other individuals as well as hospitals, nursing facilities, and other licensed and non-licensed health care organizations, political subdivisions and other private entities by state agencies, including the Departments of Health, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Social Services, Emergency Management, Transportation, State Police, Motor Vehicles, as representatives of the Commonwealth engaged in emergency services activities, at sites designated by the Commonwealth, within the meaning of the immunity provisions of § 44-146.23(A) of the Code of Virginia, in the performance of their disaster-related mission assignments.

U. A license issued to a health care practitioner by another state, and in good standing with such state, shall be deemed to be an active license issued by the Commonwealth to provide health care or professional services as a health care practitioner of the same type for which such license is issued in another state, provided such health care practitioner is engaged by a hospital, licensed nursing facility, or dialysis facility in the Commonwealth for the purpose of assisting that facility with public health and medical disaster response operations. Hospitals, licensed nursing facilities, and dialysis facilities must submit to 6 the applicable licensing authority each out-of-state health care practitioner’s name, license type, state of license, and license identification number within a reasonable time of such healthcare practitioner arriving at the applicable health care facility in the Commonwealth.