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VCU Plans National Pharmaceutical Stockpile

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  B. Frank Gupton is CEO of the Medicines for All Institute at VCU and Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering. (Credit Virginia Commonwealth University)

Making pharmaceuticals is a labor intensive job. So more than 70% of the medications Americans take are coming from China and India, where labor costs are low.

Now, however, Virginia Commonwealth University has set out to bring the process home as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Should Court Fees be Cut Down During the Economic Crisis?

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Courts are slowly reopening in Virginia, but should they continue collecting fines and fees during the downturn?

Michael Pope reports.

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Tips on How to, Safely, Get Outside During a Pandemic

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  Holiday Lake State Park in Appomattox.
(Credit: Virginia State Parks)

This weekend many campgrounds in Virginia’s state parks re-open.

Over the past two months day use in the park system has actually increased.

Mallory Noe-Payne has these tips on how to stay safe and healthy outdoors.

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COVID-19 Shapes the Future of Virginia Hospitals

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  At VCU’s medical center in Richmond, 40% of patients are now being seen via telemedicine. (Credit Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center)

COVID-19 remains a threat here in Virginia, but officials have told hospitals it’s okay to resume normal operations.

That won’t mean going back to the way things were three months ago.

As Sandy Hausman reports, medical care may never be the same.

Confronting the COVID crisis meant big changes for Virginia hospitals — new expenses and cancelation of elective procedures and tests.

Now, those medical centers are trying to recover even as they prepare for the future.

Sandy Hausman reports on their path to financial health.

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Expert Warns Pandemic Could Mean More Cases of Cervical Cancer

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  The PAP test brought a dramatic reduction in cases of cervical cancer. (Credit University of Virginia)

Fifty years ago, cervical cancer was one of this country’s most common diseases, but development of the pap test and a vaccine have dramatically cut the occurrence and toll it takes.

Now, however, experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the number of women taking preventive action as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Local Elections During COVID-19 Bring New Challenges and Solutions

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(Credit: Virginia Dept. of Elections)

Tuesday is Election Day in many places across Virginia.

As Michael Pope reports, it’ll be an election unlike any other.

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Congress Considers $100 Billion Boost for Contact Tracing

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(Credit: CDC)

Congress is considering a bill that will spend billions of dollars helping set up a system of contact tracing.

And, as Michael Pope reports, a Virginia congressman is supporting the bill in the House.

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Va. News: Church Services Restart and Ranked Choice Voting

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Many congregations in Virginia are taking a cautious approach to restarting church services. And Arlington County is considering whether to make itself a test case for a new way of deciding close elections.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Will Evictions Pick Up When Courts Reopen Monday?

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Many of Virginia’s courts will resume hearing non-emergency cases on Monday. That includes eviction lawsuits.

With judges facing a backlog of cases, tenants and legal advocates are bracing for what’s to come.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has this report.

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Local Sheriff says he won’t help Enforce Reopening Restrictions

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(Credit: CDC)

Most of Virginia will begin the process of reopening for business Friday, although with strict restrictions from the governor.

Michael Pope has this report about one Virginia sheriff who says he won’t cooperate with enforcement.

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Virginia Farmers and Seafood Houses Navigate a Complex System of Seasonal Worker Visas

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  Rod Parker tests asparagus. Behind him H-2A workers sort and pack asparagus after spending the morning in the field picking it. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Virginia’s farms and seafood processors rely heavily on foreign workers.

But the federal visa system to get them is complicated and doesn’t always work, even when there’s not a global pandemic underway.

Pamela D’Angelo reports on the difficulty with H-2A visas.

Virginia’s farms and seafood processors rely heavily on foreign workers with thousands of visas issued each year.

But Chesapeake Bay seafood processors that pick crabmeat and shuck oysters are limited by a different federal visa system that has a history of problems and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse.

Pamela D’Angelo reports on H-2B visas.

 

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Advocates say Reopening Plan puts Communities of Color at Risk

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As businesses prepare to reopen on Friday, COVID-19 continues to infect Black and Latinx people at disproportionate rates.

Some say the plan is moving too fast and putting communities of color at risk in the process.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Va. News: How Local Candidates connect in the Pandemic, how Summer School may look in Chesterfield

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Covid-19 restrictions are forcing candidates in local elections to come up with new ways of getting their messages out. And summer school in Virginia, if it happens at all, may be different this year.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Extra Food Benefits Coming for Many Virginia Families

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Virginia has gotten the green light from federal officials to give extra food money to families in need.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, more than half a million children in Virginia qualify.

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Republican Senate Candidates Prep for Primary Amidst the Pandemic

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Voters will be heading to the polls or casting absentee ballots next month in a Republican primary to take on incumbent Senator Mark Warner.

Michael Pope has this look at the candidates.

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Northam: Virginia can Begin Phase 1 Reopening on May 15th… Hopefully

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Governor Ralph Northam speaks during Monday’s news conference in a screen capture from the governor’s video stream.

Some Virginia businesses may be able to open by the end of next week. Governor Ralph Northam made that announcement Monday.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Va News: Staying Home means More Trash at Landfills, Hopewell’s Year-Round School Plan in Jeopardy

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One of the unexpected consequences of people staying at home is more trash going into landfills.  And the first school system in Virginia to shift entirely to a year-round schedule is wondering how the pandemic might affect its plans.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past month at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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The Devastation is Indescribable’ How People are Coping and Caring at Long Term Care Facilities

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  Kitty Gray and her family finding ways to stay connected during the pandemic.
(Credit Kitty Gray)

More than half of coronavirus outbreaks in Virginia are at long term care facilities, and those outbreaks can be especially deadly.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at why nursing home residents are vulnerable and how their families are coping.

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When Rent Comes Due During COVID-19

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When April First came around, many weren’t able to make rent after being laid off in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday is May First and the problem is set to repeat itself.

Jahd Khalil has more on how landlords and tenants are dealing with paying, or not paying, rent.

 

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Va. News: Coronavirus Causes Financial Losses and Construction Delays in Education

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Covid-19 is disrupting education in ways other than current school closings… and Harrisonburg will have to wait a little longer for a second high school.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Amid Coronavirus Fears and Circled by Protestors, Virginia’s General Assembly Meets

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  Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn speaks at the temporary rostrum.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

A surreal scene at the state capitol Wednesday.

Almost 100 members of Virginia’s House of Delegates outside under a giant tent for their one day veto session.

Mallory Noe-Payne is there and has this report.

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Officials Adapt Outreach Strategies for Census

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(Credit: U. S. Census Bureau)

The coronavirus pandemic may have stopped a lot of things – but one thing it hasn’t stopped is the Census.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more on what the state is still doing to make sure Virginians fill out that form.

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General Assembly Approves Delay of Minimum Wage Increase

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Senators meet inside the Science Museum of Virginia.

The minimum wage in Virginia is about to go up, although the economic crisis is postponing the increase a few months.

Michael Pope reports on one of the actions from Wednesday’s General Assembly session.

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Va. News: Election Prep and Managing Public Meetings

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The COVID-19 pandemic and changes in Virginia law are forcing local governments to change the way they normally prepare for a presidential election. And with restrictions on gatherings, required public meetings are becoming difficult to manage.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Juvenile Detention Facility in Virginia Has Coronavirus Outbreak

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(Credit: Va. Dept. of Juvenile Justice)

Twenty-five young people held in state custody have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s according to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The numbers amount to about one-eighth of the population at the Bon Air Correctional Facility, outside Richmond.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, 21 of the cases were asymptomatic. 

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Northam Extends Executive Order Closing Entertainment and Recreational Businesses By Two Weeks

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Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam is extending his executive order that closes many businesses in Virginia.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest.

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Coronavirus Sharpens Debate Over Digital Ballot Petitions

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Getting on the ballot is not easy for candidates under normal circumstances.

As Michael Pope reports, it’s now becoming a very difficult hurdle for candidates across Virginia.

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At Chincoteague, Covid-19 Closes Spring Roundup to the Public

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Ponies munching on grass near a pond at the refuge. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Every April, hundreds flock to see the Saltwater Cowboys round up famous wild ponies for a bi-annual health check.

But this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be different.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Pay Cuts for Doctors Due to Pandemic

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Credit: Flickr CC

It might seem strange, but during this pandemic many doctors and nurses are struggling financially.

Sandy Hausman explains why and what’s being done to help them.

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Protecting Virginia’s Homeless from COVID-19

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For thousands of Virginians without a place to live, staying at home isn’t an option.

Earlier this month, Governor Northam announced $2.5 million in emergency funding to help those experiencing homelessness.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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New Data Provides Deeper Picture of COVID-19 in Virginia

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(Credit: CDC)

New models from the University of Virginia show social distancing is helping slow the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest.

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Va. News: Two School Districts stay offline, Bedford Restaurant excels during pandemic

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The COVID-19 outbreak is proving to be especially challenging for schools where internet service is spotty. And while many restaurants are laying off staff during there’s at least one that’s been hiring.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Online School can mean Unique Challenges for ELL Students

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Credit: dcJohn via Flickr.com / CC

Even though schools are closed for the rest of the year, teachers are trying to keep their students engaged through distance learning.

Many districts are going online. But, as Cat Modlin-Jackson found, the shift might be especially challenging for English learners.

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Va. News: Election officials in Abington want Absentee voting, COVID-19 hampers Roanoke Democrats

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The Covid-19 outbreak is disrupting elections at every level as governments and political parties adjust.

Stories about the political process have been among the most read over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Museums Try to Reach Visitors and Stay Afloat

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  A sign informs visitors of the closure of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It also includes recommendations for social distancing in the museum’s outdoor areas.
(Credit Cat Modlin-Jackson)

Hundreds of museums across Virginia have closed, just as droves of field trippers and after-hours crowds were set to gather for spring events.

So what happens now that the lights are out and would-be visitors are stuck at home?

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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What a 2018 Pandemic Simulation by UVA Discovered

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(Credit: CDC)

During the COVID-19 crisis world leaders might do well to consult a professor of public policy at the University of Virginia.  In 2018, he developed a complex game called Pandemic.

Sandy Hausman reports on what that simulation showed.

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Deadlines Loom for Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly

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Under normal circumstances, lawmakers would be preparing to head back to Richmond in a few weeks to consider actions taken by the governor on all the legislation they passed this year.

But, as Michael Pope reports, this year may end up being different.

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Inmates Worry as Prisons See First COVID-19 Cases

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Three inmates at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women have tested positive for the novel coronavirus along with a contractor at the prison in Goochland.

A guard at the Indian Creek Correctional Center also has the disease, and prisoners around the state are terrified as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Making Sure Kids Get Counted

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(Credit: U. S. Census Bureau)

Now that schools and many offices are closed due to coronavirus, families have more time for other activities, like filling out the Census.

And though door knockers are on hiatus, advocates want every resident counted, especially the little ones with a big impact.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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No Coal Industry Tax Break in COVID-19 Relief Bill

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(Credit: Alexander G via flickr.com / CC)

Many industries are having a hard time right now, and many are seeking help from the federal government.

As Michael Pope reports, the coal industry is no exception.

 

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Lacking Support, Home Health Workers are on the Frontlines Of a Pandemic

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  Karen Acree with her patient Tyrone Jones.
(Credit: Karen Acree)

Many people with disabilities, or who are elderly, rely on home health care workers to come to their houses and help them stay safe and healthy.

Tens of thousands of people in Virginia work as a home health or personal care aide.

Now those low wage workers are on the front lines of a pandemic. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Coping with Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19

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(Credit: CDC)

In just a matter of weeks, life as we have known it has dramatically changed with the arrival of COVID-19.

And while the requirements to self-isolate or stay away from people is challenging our social fabric, people are finding ways to cope.

Robbie Harris has more.

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Increased Restrictions on Businesses, Gatherings go into Effect

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Virginia’s new restrictions on people and businesses begin at midnight Tuesday.

Restaurants can only serve carry out or delivery, gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and any recreational or entertainment business must close.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Libraries Try to Keep People Connected During Crisis

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Kara Goodrow, a circulation clerk at Northumberland Public Library, disinfects a returned book. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Communities are rolling up their sleeves and coming up with ways to deal with the consequences of social distancing and business closings due to the coronavirus.

Public libraries are at the heart of rural communities. They’re a gathering spot, a portal for internet access and a safe place for teens and neighbors to meet up. But the coronavirus has changed all that.

Pamela D’Angelo reports from one rural library in Virginia’s Northern Neck.

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Va. News: Small town objects to Post Office, a Northern VA Water Tower plan is held up – over ravens

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Supervisors in one county are testing the question of whether a locality can overrule the U. S. Postal Service. And a Virginia town must choose between the quality of its mobile phone service and the welfare of two raven hatchlings.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Friday: 114 COVID-19 Cases in Virginia

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Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at Friday’s COVID-19 briefing.

COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed in every region of Virginia, with at least 114 reported statewide Friday.

David Seidel reports state officials are praising residents and businesses that are respecting limits on gatherings.

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Public Transit Adjusts to COVID-19, Sees Ridership Drop

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Authorities have been urging people to stay home in the coronavirus outbreak.

But many Virginians rely on public transport, including commuting to critical jobs.

Jahd Khalil has more.

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COVID-19 and Pets

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Dr. Cassidy Rist teaches at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Science at Virginia Tech (Credit: Virginia Tech)

 

By now, most people are aware of the importance of taking precautions to avoid spreading the Coronavirus to other people.

But what about our pets?  Robbie Harris reports.

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Virginia Unemployment Claims Spike as Businesses Temporarily Shut Down

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Unemployment claims are skyrocketing in Virginia, doubling every day this week.

Michael Pope reports.

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State Working on COVID-19 Guidance for Daycares, No Decision to Extend School Closure Right Now

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As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in Virginia, officials are, for the first time, releasing guidelines for daycare centers.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest on the virus’ impact to schools and children.

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