HJ605: Victims of COVID-19 Remembrance Day; designating March 14, 2021 & each succeeding yr thereafter.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 605

Offered January 20, 2021
Designating March 14, in 2021 and in each succeeding year, as Victims of COVID-19 Remembrance Day in Virginia.

Patrons-- McQuinn, Adams, D.M., Aird, Ayala, Bagby, Carr, Filler-Corn, Gooditis, Helmer, Heretick, Hope, Jenkins, Keam, Levine, Murphy, Rasoul, Reid, Scott, Sickles, Simon, Simonds, Sullivan, Tran, Tyler, Watts, Willett and Williams Graves; Senator: Ruff

Referred to Committee on Rules

WHEREAS, on March 14, 2020, James City County reported the first death from SARS-CoV-2 in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, as of early January 2021, more than 361,000 Americans have died as a result of the COVID–19 pandemic, including more than 5,200 deaths in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, in November and December 2020, the United States experienced periods where hundreds of thousands of new cases were reported each day, exceeding peak infection rates earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic and further exacerbating the death toll; and

WHEREAS, the actual death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the United States and around the world, could be far higher than reported due to lack of testing and discrepancies in the attribution of cause of death, especially in the earlier stages of the pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant strain on hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers, reducing the availability of beds for inpatient treatment of not only COVID-19 cases, but also other conditions not related to the pandemic; and

WHEREAS, due to enhanced safety precautions in hospitals and social distancing guidelines, millions of Americans have been unable to say goodbye to hospitalized loved ones or properly mourn lost family and friends as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on people of all ages and backgrounds, but has disproportionately affected minority communities in the United States, with Black Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans all experiencing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death; and

WHEREAS, in some cases, deaths by suicide have also been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with individuals suffering from the effects of severe stress and isolation; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a historic tragedy that has affected and will continue to affect generations of Americans and has been defined for many by loneliness, helplessness, and loss of community and social bonds, making a shared day of remembrance and mourning essential for the healing and recovery of the Commonwealth and the nation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly designate March 14, in 2021 and in each succeeding year, as Victims of COVID-19 Remembrance Day in Virginia; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit a copy of this resolution to family members of victims of COVID-19, on behalf of all individuals who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates post the designation of this day on the General Assembly's website.