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COVID-19 in Virginia


Graham: Virginia leaders must help our community health centers

By R. NEAL GRAHAM, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, unsung heroes at community health centers have tirelessly worked to protect their patients and their communities. Located in medically underserved areas such as rural towns or inner-city neighborhoods, these community health centers, also known as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), provide primary health care services to everyone in their communities, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay or insurance status.

Graham is CEO of the Virginia Community Healthcare Association.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Huddle: Must we expect perfection?

By BENJAMIN HUDDLE, published in Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

My great grandfather, Benjamin Jacob Huddle, fought with Robert E. Lee in the Civil War. I don’t know why he chose to do that. The Huddles were farmers in Wythe County and did not own slaves. In fact, they probably didn’t know anyone who did own slaves.

Huddle teaches chemistry at Roanoke College

VaNews July 31, 2020

With local CARES Act funding, time matters, too

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

As COVID-19 keeps spreading across Virginia, local governments keep scrambling to make up for lost revenue. State leaders should be recognized for the generous distribution of federal CARES Act relief funding around the commonwealth. Of the $3.1 billion Virginia received in the spring from Congress, $1.3 billion is going to localities with fewer than 500,000 people.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Virginia shows why Trump is wrong about vote-by-mail

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

President Trump’s suggestion that the election be delayed is not only dangerous (because it reveals his authoritarian impulses) and ineffectual (he has no constitutional power to change the date), it perpetuates a great untruth that undermines public faith in our elections. Namely, that absentee voting — which is effectively what voting by mail is — is somehow illegitimate.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Amherst board pushes back school start date, requires facial coverings for students in buildings

By JUSTIN FAULCONER, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Fielding concerns of reopening school as COVID-19 cases more than doubled in the past month in Amherst, the county’s school board voted Thursday to delay the start of school two weeks and require facial coverings for students while inside buildings. The 5-2 vote to require the facial coverings and the 6-1 decision to push back the first day of school from Aug. 26 to Sept. 9 came after a public comment session that drew a mixed public reaction.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Most Albemarle County students will start year all online

By KATHERINE KNOTT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Most Albemarle County students will start the school year online, though a select group of students will have access to school buildings for classes. The School Board decided on a reopening plan Thursday, agreeing with schools Superintendent Matt Haas to start the year in the second stage of the plan. Division staff outlined a five-stage plan for reopening that would slowly allow different groups of students back into the buildings.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Isle of Wight becomes first in Hampton Roads to bring students back in-person as part of a hybrid model

By MATT JONES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The school board voted 3-2 on Thursday morning to bring some Isle of Wight County students back to class in a hybrid model. The vote bucks a growing trend in Hampton Roads — most districts have indicated they will start the year virtually. Under Isle of Wight’s plan, proposed by board chairwoman Jackie Carr, elementary and middle school students will attend on alternating days: one group on Monday and Wednesday, the other Tuesday and Thursday.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Northam faces 15-point approval drop as governors across the country face growing pandemic fatigue

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

A new poll from the Center for Public Policy at VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs found that approval ratings for Gov. Ralph Northam’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have dropped 15 percentage points since a similar survey in April. Even with the decline, 61 percent of Virginians somewhat or strongly approve of how Northam is responding to the crisis. But political analysts say the significant drop — which comes as governors across the country face growing skepticism from their constituents — speaks to the expanding case numbers across Virginia and a public that’s increasingly weary of continued uncertainty.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Photo seemed to show wild college time at Blacksburg bar; the truth is more complicated

By HENRI GENDREAU, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The photo doesn’t look great. A dozen college students stand around a bar, apparently mask-less, seemingly on top of one another. “Ho house rn… I wish I was kidding” reads the caption, referring to the Hokie House restaurant on Blacksburg’s Main Street. The image, posted on Saturday night, ricocheted across social media, swiftly becoming a hot bit of gossip that fed into concerns about how well Virginia Tech students could handle physical distancing — and how well local bars could crack down on alcohol-induced behavior that can help spread the coronavirus.

VaNews July 31, 2020

Office closes for cleaning after Virginia Beach prosecutor tested positive for COVID-19

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will close Friday for an “enhanced cleaning” amid concerns the coronavirus could be spreading among the staff, a spokeswoman said. As a result, city courts will postpone most hearings in criminal cases Friday, said the spokeswoman, Macie Allen. Bail hearings in General District Court will go forward, though.

VaNews July 31, 2020