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COVID-19 in Virginia


Arlington Democrats go mail-in route for School Board caucus

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Inside NOVA (Metered Paywall)

The Arlington County Democratic Committee is switching to a mail-in election to select two endorsees for School Board, with results expected to be released in early June. The new process, devised in the wake of the COVID-19 public-health crisis, replaces the traditional Democratic caucus, which usually includes two or three days of in-person voting.

VaNews April 8, 2020

A Chorus Of Alzheimer’s Patients Sings Through The Shutdown On Zoom


Mary Ann East is the first to log on to her Zoom meeting. She’s the conductor of the Fairfax, Va.-based Sentimental Journey Singers, and her chorus is about to start their second virtual rehearsal of the coronavirus pandemic. Smiling faces with gray hair start to pop onto the screen, Brady Bunch-style. East greets them each by name: “Hi Billy, hi Debbie!” Dottie has some trouble with her camera, but East helps her figure it out.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Virginia attractions close to slow virus

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

Despite a lack of COVID-19 cases in Southwest Virginia, a number of prominent outdoor attractions are now closed, and Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday reemphasized his call for abiding by social distancing guidelines as the number of cases statewide continues to climb.

VaNews April 8, 2020

“It’s our time": Navy Reserve calls up Hampton Roads doctors to help fight coronavirus

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Dr. David Zelinskas got the call Thursday night: be ready to go within 72 hours to help fight the coronavirus. “We all kind of had the feeling it was a matter of time,” said Zelinskas, 37, who works at Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group and lives in Virginia Beach.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Workers urge Northam to sign minimum wage bill

By ADA ROMANO, VCU Capital News Service

Workers and advocates are urging Gov. Ralph Northam to sign a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 at the start of next year. The General Assembly will reconvene on April 22, and lawmakers will reevaluate recently passed legislation as the state’s economy takes a blow and unemployment climbs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Virginia’s state lab is one of the first in the country to sequence samples of virus that causes COVID-19

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

Buried in the genetic code of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, are mutations that can help scientists learn more about where the disease started and how it’s continuing to spread. Virginia’s state laboratory is one of three public health labs in the country to begin unraveling that code, Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a news briefing on Monday.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Farmers market shift: Scrambling to not lose a spring season

By TONIA MOXLEY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

When Chris Cirenza heard that Virginia Tech students wouldn’t return to campus after spring break because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, he knew his business would suffer. “Undergrads love my carbonara,” Cirenza said. For the past two years, students and nonstudents would stand in long lines at his Not Your Mama’s Pasta stall at the Blacksburg Farmers Market waiting for Cirenza

VaNews April 8, 2020

Roanoke to furlough some city workers

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

Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell says that he and his staff are working on next year’s budget while picking up the pieces of this year’s. The Great Recession found Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell halfway across the country. Cowell was director of planning and development services in College Station, Texas, and he was part of a team that had to implement furloughs during the 2008-2009 period.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Death count now 32 at Canterbury as COVID symptoms spread

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

The death toll from COVID-19 has doubled in five days at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in western Henrico County, with four more deaths in the previous day and a total of 32 dead in two weeks. With 16 deaths since Thursday, Canterbury is approaching the number of COVID-19 fatalities at the nursing home in the Seattle area where the coronavirus pandemic first erupted in the United States.

VaNews April 8, 2020

Clarke officials: Keeping people off the Appalachian Trail is hard

By MICKEY POWELL, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Keeping people off the Appalachian Trail during the coronavirus pandemic is a hard, if not impossible, task for Clarke County officials. Complaints have been received from people “concerned about the volume of hikers not making it easy to practice proper social distancing” along the trail, as well as in designated parking areas, said County Administrator Chris Boies.

VaNews April 8, 2020