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COVID-19 in Virginia
April 10, 2020
Top of the News

State death toll tops 100, doubling since Monday due to delayed reporting

By BRIDGET BALCH AND JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The official Virginia COVID-19 death count surpassed 100 Thursday, an increase based on delayed reporting of deaths that have occurred over the past two weeks. Virginia’s death count from the virus more than doubled in the past three days, from 54 reported on Monday to 109 reported Thursday, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

Weekly jobless claims in Virginia approach 150,000

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Nearly 150,000 Virginians filed unemployment claims in the last week, the third straight week of record-setting claims in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that 149,758 claims were filed in the state in the week ending April 4. That’s about a one-third increase over the previous week, which was itself record-setting.

Northam Quietly Signs Hundreds of Bills As Deadline Looms


Gov. Ralph Northam’s thrice-weekly press conferences on the COVID-19 pandemic have become a grim fixture of Virginia political life. But behind closed doors, Northam has quietly continued a more traditional duty: reviewing and signing legislation. He’s signed more than 800 pieces of legislation ranging from the symbolic, including a bill creating a “non-binary” gender option on driver’s license applications, to the obscure, such as a bill making it a misdemeanor to leave dead animals in churches.

Black Caucus urges Northam to sign wage increase despite pressure to hold off amid coronavirus crisis

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus called on Gov. Ralph Northam to sign legislation that would raise the minimum wage, protect the environment and fight racial disparity even as the cost of the coronavirus crisis pressures him to hold off.

GOP weighs options for 7th District convention

By JIM MCCONNELL, Chesterfield Observer

Under normal circumstances, Republican candidates across Virginia’s 7th Congressional District would be heading into the final stretch of campaigning in advance of their party’s April 25 convention, when delegates were scheduled to meet at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond and select a nominee for November’s general election. COVID-19 has turned that plan on its ear.

'Absolutely devastating': COVID death toll now up to 39 at Canterbury

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The death toll at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center climbed to 39 on Thursday, drawing ever closer to the number of COVID-19 fatalities at a Seattle-area nursing home at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. “This is absolutely devastating — there’s no other word for it,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in reaction to the fatalities at the skilled nursing facility in western Henrico County.

Friday Read He spent 24 years in prison. He came out to a new kind of confinement.

By RACHEL WEINER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Derrick Redd left prison on March 23 after over two decades behind bars. Until recently, he thought he would be there for two decades more. Instead, he walked out into a “beautiful” rain — and a pandemic. Many longtime prisoners struggle to adjust to modern society after release. But for a pandemic, prison primed Redd well.

The Full Report
62 articles, 32 publications


From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Data from the Virginia Department of Health shows a timeline of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a statewide map showing the number of cases by locality. VPAP has added a map of deaths by health district and hospital utilization data from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Updated each morning shortly after 9:00 a.m.


Judge denies injunction against Governor's orders

By JIM TALBERT, Richlands News-Press

A Russell County Man’s attempt to get the churches open for Easter failed April 9. Circuit Judge Michael Moore denied Larry Hughes’ request for an injunction to stop the executive orders prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

Judge rejects lawsuit over order; no religious exemption

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

A judge in southwest Virginia on Thursday ejected a lawsuit that sought to carve ought a religious exemption to Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order requiring people to stay at home. Russell County resident Larry Hughes filed the lawsuit this week. He said the governor’s stay-at-home order to combat the spread of the coronavirus infringed on his religious freedom...

Judge rules against Southwest Virginia man’s church suit

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

A Russell County judge ruled against a Southwest Virginia man’s request to allow groups of 10 or more people gather in church for Easter. Judge Michael Moore on Thursday denied retired teacher Larry Hughes’ appeal for a temporary injunction in a lawsuit filed earlier this week that claims executive orders from Gov. Ralph Northam...

Judge denies temporary injunction in Russell County man’s church suit against governor

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Just before Easter Sunday, a judge has ruled against a Russell County man’s request to allow groups of 10 or more people to gather in church. Last month, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued executive orders banning groups of 10 or more people to gather. His orders specifically included religious gatherings.

Gun rights groups, Safeside Tactical seek exemption for indoor gun ranges to open

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Gun rights groups as well as Safeside Tactical, which has a store and shooting range in Roanoke, are seeking an injunction against Gov. Ralph Northam so that indoor gun ranges can receive an exemption to an executive order requiring recreational businesses to close.

Gun rights groups ask for injunction against Ralph Northam over indoor gun range closures

By KERRY PICKET, Washington Examiner

A coalition of gun rights organizations led by the Virginia Citizens Defense League filed for a temporary injunction Thursday night against Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia State Police to allow indoor ranges to reopen during the state of emergency.


ACLU, others call for urgent prison and jail releases in response to COVID-19

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The ACLU of Virginia is calling for the quick release of any jail or prison inmate who does not pose “a demonstrable, imminent threat of bodily harm to others,” in light of the threat posed behind bars by COVID-19.

47 confirmed cases of inmates, staff with the coronavirus in Virginia correctional facilities


The Virginia Department of Corrections announced Thursday there are now 47 confirmed cases of inmates and staff infected with COVID-19 in its correctional facilities. According to the latest update, 20 on-site inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, while five remain hospitalized. Additionally, 22 staff members, which includes both employees and contractors, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

State extends ban on utility cut-offs into June

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

The State Corporation Commission has extended an order barring utilities from cutting off electricity, natural gas, water or sewer service to non-paying customers during the coronavirus pandemic. The ban, which had been set to expire May 15, has been pushed back to June 14.

Virginia ABC closes a dozen stores in NOVA

By SABRINA MORENO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced Thursday it's temporarily closing down 12 stores in the Northern Virginia area starting Monday. ABC officials said as the region continually sees some of the highest rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state throughout the crisis, staffing has dwindled and operations aren't sustainable.

Authorities urge people to avoid Clinch River in Russell County due to sewage

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

In effect until further notice, the Virginia Department of Health recommends against recreational water use by people and pets and consuming fish from a portion of the Clinch River in Russell County, due to problems with the wastewater treatment plant serving the town of Cleveland, according to a news release. On April 4, the sewage treatment plant serving Cleveland was severely damaged, the release states.


Scholle closes plant, lays off employees due to virus

By STAFF REPORT, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Scholle IPN in Chilhowie is reducing its workforce this week by 128 employees due to a sharp decline in business due to COVID-19, according to a letter from the manufacturer to Mayor Gary Heninger, ... The company that has been in Smyth County for over 20 years is reducing its workforce by about 128 employees...

After Clean Economy Act, Dominion says ‘significant build-out’ of new gas plants no longer viable

By SARAH VOGELSONG, Virginia Mercury

Although it has not yet been signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam, the Virginia Clean Economy Act passed by the General Assembly this March has already spurred changes to the long-term plans of Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electric utility. On March 24, Dominion asked regulators to waive a requirement that as part of its long-term planning it comprehensively assess the risk and impact of new natural gas plants on the grounds that “significant build-out of natural gas generation facilities is not currently viable, with the passage by the General Assembly of the Virginia Clean Economy Act.”

Tobacco Giant Sues Rivals Over Patents for Cigarette Alternatives

By JENNIFER MALONEY, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

British American Tobacco is suing two of its biggest rivals, alleging the IQOS tobacco heating device developed by Philip Morris International Inc. and sold by Altria Group Inc. infringes on its U.S. patents. The move is the latest volley in a fight among cigarette giants to grab share in the growing market for smoking alternatives. It follows a similar suit filed two years ago by Philip Morris against BAT in Japan.

New Journal and Guide suspends print production

By JESSICA NOLTE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The publisher of the New Journal and Guide announced Thursday that the newspaper would be suspending its publication until further notice because of challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. “For the New Journal and Guide, a small business with a dedicated mission, it is not business as usual,” Brenda Andrews, owner and publisher, said in an email.


Thousands of Americans head home through Dulles Airport to dodge coronavirus abroad


Over 14,000 Americans have returned to the states through Dulles International Airport in order to avoid facing the coronavirus pandemic overseas. Javier Cortes, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency’s acting area port director for D.C., told WTOP that Dulles has primarily seen aid workers going through the screening process.

DMV turns shuttered weigh stations into rest areas for truckers

By TAD DICKENS, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday that truckers may use weigh stations as rest areas. All 13 of the commonwealth’s weigh stations were closed until at least April 23, but an increasing number of commercial drivers are delivering food and supplies where needed as COVID-19 continues its grip on the nation.

Virginia tips the scales toward trucker comfort

By SEAN JONES, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 10 articles a month)

The weigh station on Interstate 95 in Carson is quiet now, but come April 23, it is going to be temporarily re-purposed as more than just a place to determine how heavy or light a truck is. The state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday that Carson and nine other stations in Virginia will double as a place for tractor-trailer drivers to park and get some rest.

HRT temporarily suspends fares

Southside Daily

Hampton Roads Transit says it plans to temporarily suspend all transit fares for HRT services effective Friday, April 10, 2020, according to a press release. The suspension will continue until June 10, 2020 unless modified or or stopped.


Virginia Tech president says university will not reimburse tuition

By HENRI GENDREAU, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Virginia Tech will not reimburse tuition costs for the semester that has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, the university’s president said Thursday during a virtual town hall meeting. President Tim Sands spoke for an hour about Tech’s operations amid the COVID-19 crisis, responding to questions about its decisions on commencement, tuition and fees and the transition of more than 6,000 classes online.

University gives back ventilators it received from hospital

Associated Press

A Virginia university that received donated ventilators to help train its nursing students is returning the favor. Shenandoah University in Winchester said Thursday it has donated three ventilators back to Valley Health, which operates small hospitals in Woodstock, Luray and throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

Area colleges and universities to receive more than $20 million in emergency grant funds

By JAMEY CROSS, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

More than $6 billion will be distributed immediately to colleges and universities nationwide to provide grants to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education. Area colleges and universities will see more than $20 million in emergency funding. Three local colleges and universities will see more than $1 million in funds: Liberty University’s total allocation is more than $15 million, University of Lynchburg will receive more than $1.9 million and Central Virginia Community College will receive more than $1.8 million.

Lynchburg Liberty University pressing charges against journalist

By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press

Liberty University has pushed for criminal trespassing charges against two journalists who pursued stories about why the evangelical college in Virginia has remained partially open during the coronavirus outbreak. The college, in Lynchburg, Virginia, is led by Jerry Falwell Jr., a supporter of President Donald Trump who has suggested coverage of the epidemic was overblown.

Liberty University police pursuing trespassing case against two journalists

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Liberty University police are pursuing a criminal case against two journalists who the department alleges made unauthorized campus visits last month while covering the school’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Wednesday on the Todd Starnes radio show.


Record set for single-day covid-19 deaths in D.C., Maryland and Virginia at 53; black residents hit hardest

By FENIT NIRAPPIL, OVETTA WIGGINS AND JOHN D. HARDEN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The District, Maryland and Virginia on Thursday reported 53 additional coronavirus fatalities combined, another single-day record, as the region’s leaders braced for the death toll to continue rising and confronted the disproportionate impact the pandemic was having on the area’s black residents.

Deaths at Virginia care facility with outbreak climb to 39

Associated Press

Six more residents of a Virginia long-term care facility have died, bringing the death toll there amid a coronavirus outbreak to 39, an employee said Thursday. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who have passed, and we deeply feel the loss within our community,” Jeremiah Davis, the administrator of Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in suburban Richmond, said in a statement.

'On pins and needles.' Richmond woman seeks daily updates on brother as deaths mount at Canterbury

By REED WILLIAMS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

When the call finally came Tuesday evening, it was good news: Fred Lee Stafford was still alive. Bernice Stafford-Turner has been waiting for those calls every day as the death toll at the skilled nursing center where her brother lives continues to rise.

20 residents, 14 employees test positive for virus at nursing home

By SUSAN KYTE, South Boston News & Record

The number of residents and staff at Sentara Meadowview Terrace in Clarksville who are infected by the coronavirus shot up to 34 on Thursday — a number that is likely to increase as more test results come back from the lab. The nursing home’s COVID-19 caseload includes 20 residents and 14 staff members, according to the Southside Health District office in Boydton.

Black Virginians could be in greater danger from the coronavirus, but the state lacks data to know for sure

By PETER COUTU, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

State officials said Wednesday they were worried the coronavirus pandemic could be disproportionately impacting black Virginians, but that they lacked key data to truly understand what was happening. Elsewhere, evidence has emerged showing the virus was devastating minority communities.

State, local officials lack data to determine COVID-19 impact by race

By CATHY DYSON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

It’s impossible to tell if African Americans and other minorities in the Fredericksburg area are being diagnosed with COVID-19 at higher rates than others because the full data doesn’t exist, locally or statewide. Racial information is missing or unknown in more than half the positive cases in the Rappahannock Area Health District...

Virginia medical providers want liability protections during the COVID-19 pandemic

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

A group of 19 Virginia medical associations sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday, requesting legal protections for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter, signed by such major industry players as the Medical Society of Virginia and Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, includes a draft executive order and calls on Northam to declare “civil and criminal immunity to health care providers that act in good faith” while responding to the outbreak.

Carilion reports 'small number' of employee cases of COVID-19

By NEIL HARVEY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

“A small number of employees” at Carilion Clinic have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Dr. Paul Skolnik, chair of medicine and an infectious disease specialist. No additional information about the employees’ positions, locations or dates of confirmation was released.

Virginia woman delivers RV for nurse to live in during coronavirus pandemic


It was through social media that Stacy Ng found a way to help during the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, she joined a new Facebook group called "RVs 4 MDs." The group matches RV and camper owners with health care workers to loan them a safe place to stay.

Port of Virginia begins screening temperatures of workers, employees who enter terminals

By GORDON RAGO, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Port of Virginia began testing the temperatures of anyone coming on to its restricted facilities Thursday, including the port’s two biggest container terminals. Anyone whose temperature is 100.4 degrees or above will be denied entry...

COVID-19 is hitting aircraft carriers and other Navy ships. What are the risks for Virginia sailors?

By ROBIN BRAVENDER, Virginia Mercury

The COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier led to the quarantine of thousands of sailors, a firing of captain who pleaded for help, the resignation of the acting U.S. Navy secretary and broad concerns about the safety of servicemembers confined to cramped quarters aboard vessels. Those concerns are acute in Virginia, which is home to six of the nation’s 11 aircraft carriers and numerous other warships.

Evicted during a pandemic: At some motels, tenants are being illegally tossed out

By JONATHAN EDWARDS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Noon was approaching and Omayra Acevedo had a choice: make rent at the extended stay motel where she’d been living with her fiance for six months, or risk becoming homeless in the middle of a pandemic she feared would kill her.

Coronavirus spring-cleaning surge leaves residential garbage cans overflowing

By JUSTIN WM. MOYER AND JAHI CHIKWENDIU, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

On a warm morning amid a global health pandemic, Fairfax County sanitation workers reported for duty on a day that brought another increased workload. Wearing N95 masks, they leaped on and off a county garbage truck, emptying trash carts that have been unusually full in recent weeks.

D.C. area trash collection amount spikes on stay-at-home orders

By SOPHIE KAPLAN, Washington Times

People around the D.C. region are taking advantage of stay-at-home orders by doing some spring cleaning, but trash collection services are asking residents to hold off until the pandemic is over. “We in the county are asking people to be mindful how much trash they are generating,” said Erik Grabowsky, solid waste bureau chief for Arlington County. “This is not the time to clean out your garage or attic.”

Golf amid the pandemic: Some courses in Virginia remain open, but options are vanishing


Mike Miller hasn’t eaten takeout in five weeks. The 36-year-old Virginia resident has been at home with his family during the coronavirus pandemic trying his best to abide by the stay-at-home order imposed last month. But there is a habit Mr. Miller can’t quit — one that has him sneaking off from his wife and children of 6, 4 and 1. He hits the golf course.

Some day cares are reopening — and new ones are starting — for the children of essential workers

By RYAN MURPHY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on and quarantine measures mandated by the state tighten, some day cares that shuttered initially have reopened to care for the kids of essential workers. And the scope of child care is expanding, as Virginia Beach’s parks department launches a whole new stop-gap program for city staffers and medical workers.

COVID-19 cases forces Sentara Meadowview residents to move to South Boston Hospital

South Hill Enterprise

In a new release from Sentara, it was confirmed that several residents at Sentara Meadowview Terrace have tested positive for COVID-19. To keep everyone currently at the facility safe and out of caution, those residents have been transported and are being temporarily relocated to a dedicated isolation unit at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. This will keep from additional exposure at Sentara Meadowview Terrace and will give Sentara Hospital a chance to give residents additional care if necessary.

Sentara Meadowview patients test positive for COVID-19 and move to isolation unit at Sentara Hospital

News Progress, Chase City

In a new release from Sentara, it was confirmed that several residents at Sentara Meadowview Terrace have tested positive for COVID-19. To keep everyone currently at the facility safe and out of caution, those residents have been transported and are being temporarily relocated to a dedicated isolation unit at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital.

Ballad Health ramps up rapid testing for COVID-19

By DAVID MCGEE AND TIM DODSON, Washington County News

Last week, Ballad Health became among the first health care systems in the nation to deploy rapid testing for COVID-19. The regional health system announced last Wednesday it has acquired the technology to get test results within hours instead of days, according to a written statement. The test technology was developed by the diagnostics company Cepheid.

Farm to table, via driver’s window: Drive-thru farmers’ market to open


On most weekends, a trip to the farmers market includes a leisurely stroll among vendors, sampling a just-picked-and-sliced apple or skewering a tiny piece of cheese with a toothpick, and going home with bags of fresh produce grown on local farms. But when a popular farmers market opens April 18 in Fauquier County, Virginia, business that’s normally conducted in a large parking lot on Fifth Street, in historic Warrenton, will be adapted to a drive-thru market, including a series of three parking lots along Main Street.


Timing of Arlington special election remains anyone’s guess

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Inside NOVA (Metered Paywall)

The Arlington County Board vacancy created by the April 6 resignation of Erik Gutshall could remain unfilled until a successor is elected, leaving the board with four members in the interim. When, exactly, that election would be scheduled depends on a number of factors, and could range from late June to the Nov. 3 general election. While the county leadership says it is evaluating options, the Code of Virginia seems unambiguous: Arlington’s County Board, with its unique form of government, cannot have an appointed board member in most cases, including in the circumstances surrounding Gutshall’s departure.

Fairfax County considers early release of jail inmates during pandemic


Fairfax County, Virginia’s top prosecutor took a bold step toward reviewing who needs to be in the county’s jail in hopes of reducing the number of people confined in a space that could easily become a breeding ground for the novel coronavirus. . . . Along with limiting the defendants coming into the system, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said his office will review the case of every individual serving a sentence in jail on a case-by-case basis to determine if they are eligible for early release.

Registrar questions town elections in November

By DON DEL ROSSO, Fauquier Now

Despite Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposal to move the May 5 municipal elections to November, Fauquier’s general registrar will proceed as if they will take place as scheduled in about four weeks. The county’s three towns — The Plains, Remington and Warrenton — will hold elections next month.

Richmond Council approves virtual meetings in response to COVID-19

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Richmond City Council will cease in-person public hearings and hold electronic meetings about business it deems critical through the COVID-19 pandemic. The council approved new guidelines at a special meeting Thursday so the city’s public bodies can continue meeting during the state of emergency.

County cuts proposed budget by $50 million

By JIM MCCONNELL, Chesterfield Observer

A planned November 2020 bond referendum is being put on hold, and several other capital projects have been delayed indefinitely as the Chesterfield County government marshals resources to fund operations in the face of a nationwide economic crisis fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hampton launches small business loan program, extensions on tax bills to those affected by coronavirus

By LISA VERNON SPARKS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

For those hit hardest by the pandemic, Hampton is offering some people more time to pay their tax bills and a loan forgiveness program for small businesses. The Hampton City Council — voting unanimously during an electronic meeting Wednesday night — approved a loan and grant forgiveness program that will be managed by the Economic Development Authority, City Manager Mary Bunting said.

Williamsburg City Council addresses budget in light of the coronavirus

By ALEXA DOIRON, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

Along with the economic downturn brought about the coronavirus pandemic, local governments are finding themselves re-evaluating budgets as they continue to provide vital services to their residents. Take Williamsburg for instance. Despite creating a strong budget in January, the Williamsburg City Council finds itself reassessing its financial strategy for the end of 2020 and the entirety of 2021 to accommodate changes to the economy as a result of the coronavirus.

City Council, Richardson sparred over response in early days of pandemic

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, at least two Charlottesville City Councilors felt they weren’t getting effective communication from City Manager Tarron Richardson, while the city’s top administrator accused council of “meddling” in operations.

COVID-19 shines light on lack of broadband access

By TERRY BEIGIE, Greene County Record

Classes in Virginia are basically online now with K-12 and college campus closures due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many workplaces have closed and people are working from home, as well. Doctor’s offices throughout our region have instituted telemedicine for routine appointments. This crisis has put a spotlight on the lack of broadband in rural areas like Greene County.

Surviving quarantine without internet. How are rural communities coping?

By EMILY HOLTER, Tidewater Review

Pulling into the King William High School’s parking lot, Holly Sill shuts off her car and waits as her two children connect to the school’s Wi-Fi and begin their daily coursework. With a 3-year-old, two high schoolers and herself, the car becomes cramped. The remaining space is quickly filled as notebooks and papers sprawl across unclaimed territory. With computers resting in their laps, it is a necessary balancing act.

Closures raise concerns for Northumberland

Northumberland Echo

While some counties are doing all right with recent state closures aimed to fight COVID-19, these closures have pretty much shut down Northumberland County. The school year is canceled, the courts are closed and public offices are closed to the public. Churches have canceled services and activities and public events have been called off.



Vexit, reconsidered: Many county schools would be better off in W.Va.

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Today we are forced to issue a correction. It is an unusual correction because it’s about something we haven’t published. We intended to publish an editorial on the fantasy of Vexit — the notion that a bunch of rural Virginia counties can somehow detach themselves from the Old Dominion and join West Virginia. They can’t — not on their own anyway — and, realistically, they won’t. We won’t be walking that part back.

Virginia’s Rainy Day is here

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Good planning requires that governments, just like individuals and businesses, try to anticipate various worst-case scenarios and prepare for them ahead of time, just in case they actually do happen. A little more than a month ago, nobody in Richmond anticipated that most of the commonwealth would be in lockdown mode until at least June 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, or that state revenue would plummet as a result. Unfortunately, here we are.

Helping each other will see us through

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

There may be, at long last, some good news on the coronavirus front. Modeling by the University of Washington, which has been cited by many health officials and policy experts, suggests that the number of cases may be cresting and the United States may finally be getting through the worst of the crisis.

We are a resilient RVA

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

Giving can come in many forms — time, money, things. During a global pandemic marked by more than 1.5 million cases, thousands of deaths and dozens of stay-at-home orders, we’ve learned a lesson: Needs might vary greatly from person to person.


Mix: Don't let union giveaways undermine Virginia's COVID-19 response

By MARK MIX, published in Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

LIKE the entire country, Virginia faces the unprecedented health and economic challenge posed by COVID-19, which is why it is critical that Gov. Ralph Northam veto two union boss power grabs currently on his desk, each of which would undermine state and local efforts to mitigate the damage being wrought by the coronavirus.

Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Committee, which is based in Springfield.

Moore: Don't let yourself be ripped off during COVID-19

By BARRY N. MOORE, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

“There’s a sucker born every minute,” allegedly once uttered the showman P.T. Barnum. At least a dozen different people in the 19th century were credited with originating that phrase. Regardless of who first said it, it’s probably hanging today on the living room walls or screensavers of a great many grifters and scammers — all thinking your money and identity really belong to them, not you.