Federal coronavirus response team deployed to Hampton Roads as cases rise

Posted at 2:05 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 14:05:18-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The federal government deployed a coronavirus response team to Hampton Roads as the region reports increased numbers of coronavirus cases.

The COVID-19 Response Assistance Field Team, or CRAFT, arrived in the region Monday and will conduct virtual visits with state and local leaders all week.

CRAFT is composed of members of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and hospital associations at the state and national level.

According to a statement made during a Virginia Beach City Council workship, CRAFT will assist state and local leaders in designing a plan of action against the virus.

CRAFT arrived in the region as Gov. Ralph Northam called for stronger enforcement of COVID-19 business guidelines across the state.

He said the previous stay-at-home order, mask order for indoor public places, telework recommendations and social distancing have helped Virginia to keep cases relatively low.

Northam said we are now, however, seeing troubling numbers especially with an increase in cases in Hampton Roads. Eastern Virginia has seen an increase in percent positivity of COVID-19 tests, with 10.1 percent and rising in recent days.

Along with CRAFT's efforts in designing a plan of action, the Virginia Department of Health is deploying 100 people to ramp up guideline enforcement. It will happen across the state but will be especially done in Hampton Roads.