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6 area virus deaths reported in single day

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

The Rappahannock Area Health District reported six new deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily total since the pandemic began. The people who died represented every locality in the health district, except King George County. Three were residents of Spotsylvania County, and there was one death each in Fredericksburg, Caroline County and Stafford County. Three were white, two were Black and one was Asian or Pacific Islander. Two were in their 50s.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Legislators rig the redistricting system to benefit themselves

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The fix is in. Virginians this fall are being asked whether to approve an amendment to the state constitution that would take the power of drawing new legislative lines out of the hands of the majority party in the General Assembly and give it to a bipartisan commission composed of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Democrats, who for years argued in favor some sort of commission when they were the minority party, have mysteriously decided this particular version isn’t quite good enough and now argue for a “no” vote.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Cook shifts Luria-Taylor race to ‘leans Democratic’

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN AND MEAGAN FLYNN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

In the middle of two debates between Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Republican challenger Scott Taylor this week, the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race in Luria’s favor, just as a poll was released showing her with a slight lead. Cook shifted the race, which had been considered one of the most competitive in the nation, from a “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.”

VaNews October 22, 2020


COVID cases are exceeding Ballad's capacity to provide care

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Last week, 1,800 people living in Ballad Health’s Virginia and Tennessee service area tested positive for COVID-19. Statistically, this means that soon 110 of them will become so ill that they will need to be admitted to one of Ballad’s hospitals. Of those patients, 35 will die. CEO Alan Levine said Wednesday there’s not a thing that can be done now to prevent that from happening, nor from similar things happening to an increasing number of people finding out this week of their infections.

VaNews October 22, 2020


‘Special’ session it wasn’t

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

About the only thing “special” about the General Assembly’s special session this year is that it lasted longer and got much less done than the 46-day regular legislative session that ended in March. The legislature had already passed a $135 billion biennium budget, and Gov. Ralph Northam’s subsequent freeze on new state spending in April, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Virginia, should have made short work of adjusting budgetary wish lists to the new coronavirus reality.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Ballad to defer some procedures as cases climb

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Ballad Health announced steps Wednesday to address a surge of COVID-19 cases but officials stopped short of petitioning elected officials for additional public restrictions. On Wednesday Ballad reported 135 COVID-positive patients in its hospitals — a one-day record — plus 29 suspected cases. Its previous single-day record was 125 inpatients. Additionally, the region’s average testing positivity rate hit a record 12.6% — prompting officials to anticipate even more cases in the days ahead.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Loudoun Students Quarantined After Contact with Infected Staff Member

Loudoun Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

As Loudoun school administrators continue to gear up to the expansion of in-person learning, the school division today reported the first instance in which students were directed to quarantine at home after coming in close contact with an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19 while on campus. The cases were reported at Mountain View Elementary School, where it was determined that an unspecified number of students and staff members had spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of the staff member who had a positive test.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Changes have increased costs for college students

By ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

College classes were moved online, extracurriculars were derailed, and the campus experience has been transformed because of the pandemic. But the price tag of a public college education in Virginia increased anyway. The average cost for an in-state student rose nearly 2% this year to $25,112.

VaNews October 22, 2020


Governor and regional officials announce name for new 40-mile Ashland-Petersburg trail

By C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

An approximately 40-mile biking and walking route that will stretch from Ashland to Petersburg now has a name: the Fall Line Trail. Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled the upcoming north-south trail’s new name Wednesday in a groundbreaking ceremony with local officials and trail advocates from throughout the region at the planned trail’s northern terminus in Ashland’s Carter Park.

VaNews October 22, 2020


From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.

VaNews October 22, 2020