Governor announces online tool to help with symptoms, testing

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - At his briefing Friday afternoon, Governor Northam announced a new online tool designed to answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms and help find places to be tested.

Click here to access COVIDCHECK.

Regarding rising numbers of people filing for Virginia Employment Commission jobless benefits in the wake of coronavirus-related business closures, Northam said a new call center has been opened with 315 newly-hired employees to take calls about benefits.

He also said recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be able to request groceries online through Amazon and Walmart, and have them delivered. That is anticipated to begin May 29.

Click here to watch the full briefing from the governor's Facebook page.

Beginning next week, Northam's news conferences will be cut back to Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of three days a week, unless there is an urgent development

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 34,950 cases of coronavirus in the commonwealth as of Friday morning. That's up from 34,137 reported Thursday.

VDH is reporting 1,742 of the cases as "probable."

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There are 1,136 recorded coronavirus-related deaths in the commonwealth as of Friday, up from 1,099 Thursday. 36 have been reported in southwest Virginia, including the first in Salem (3) and Alleghany County (2).

4,145 people have been hospitalized. 249,940 tests have been conducted. VDH has not been reporting numbers of people who have recovered, saying that information is not gathered by individual health agencies across the state.

Click here to see all the breakdowns.

Any new confirmed cases from health departments throughout the state the rest of the day won't show up until at least the following day on the state list, as the official numbers are only updated once a day, with a 5 p.m. cutoff each day for new cases to be reflected on the next day's list.

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