Posts Tagged COVID-19

Governor Avoids Mandates Despite Rising New Cases

Governor Ralph Northam on a tour of Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions on July 22, 2021 (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Governor Ralph Northam said he was going to stick with encouraging vaccination and other safeguards rather than mandating them in a variety of contexts Thursday, despite accelerating new cases. Jahd Khalil reports.

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New VCU Poll: Black Virginians Twice as Likely to Face Economic Hardship During Recovery

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The pandemic is hitting racial and ethnic minorities harder in Virginia, according to a new poll. Michael Pope reports.

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New Poll: Unvaccinated Black Virginians More Likely to Get a Shot Than White Virginians

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A new poll reveals racial disparity among people who are reluctant to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Michael Pope has details.

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Congressman Connolly Wants to Be Ready for the Next Pandemic

Congressman Gerry Connolly

One member of Virginia’s congressional delegation is working across party lines to help head off the next pandemic. Michael Pope reports.

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ARP Funding: How Should Virginia School Divisions Use It?

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School divisions across Virginia are about to come into a large sum of money thanks to the American Rescue Plan. Michael Pope reports on the debate about what to do with all that money.

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VDH Spends $1.7 Million on Ads in March and April

The Virginia Department of Health spent $1.7 million in March and April on ads promoting vaccinations and public health measures, according to April 21st data from the department. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Northam: Virginia on Track to See COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted on June 15th

Some changes related to pandemic restrictions in Virginia are on the horizon. Nick Gilmore reports.

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The State of COVID-19 Vaccinations in Virginia’s Prisons

It’s been more than a year since Virginia prisons locked down to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. The state has offered vaccine to every inmate, but restrictions are still in place and are unlikely to be lifted any time soon. In part one of a series, Sandy Hausman tells why.

Because the risk of a deadly COVID outbreak was especially high in state prisons, and because the disease could easily spread to surrounding communities through staff, inmates and employees were among the first Virginians to get vaccine. However, nearly a third of prisoners and more than 40% of staff have refused it.  That means significant restrictions remain in place, and frustration behind bars is building as Sandy Hausman reports in part two.

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Many More Deaths From COVID-19 Have Likely Gone Unreported

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On Sunday, Virginia marks one year since a man in his 70s died from COVID-19. He was the first of 9,961 people who have died from the virus, officially. But as Jahd Khalil reports, the pandemic has claimed many more.

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Northam: Some COVID-19 Restrictions to Be Relaxed Monday

The number of new COVID-19 infections is trending down, and vaccination numbers are going up. And, Governor Ralph Northam says that’s cause to relax some safety restrictions. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find more details about the relaxed restrictions here.

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Legislation Requiring In-Person Instruction Currently Under Consideration by House of Delegates

On Monday, some students in Henrico County returned to in-person learning. Governor Northam has asked all schools to have an in-person option by March 15th. A bill in the General Assembly would require it by this summer. Jahd Khalil has this report from Richmond.

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State Call Center for COVID-19 Vaccination Registration and Information Now Live

Credit: CDC

Governor Ralph Northam delivered some good news during an update on Virginia’s continued COVID-19 response Wednesday: case numbers are trending down and vaccinations are up. The state has a few new tools as well. Nick Gilmore reports.

You can reach the call center at 877-VAX-IN-VA. And the online portal is accessible here.

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Northam: Virginia School Divisions Should Offer an In-Person Option by March 15th

After the pandemic caused Governor Ralph Northam to close Virginia’s public schools last spring, he says it’s now time to reopen. Nick Gilmore has details.

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VDH: Vaccine Administration Ramping Up, More Doses Expected Next Week

Last week, officials admitted Virginia had one of the worst state rates for administering vaccine on hand. This week, the news is better. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Northam Says More Vaccines On the Way, Promises Transparency

The COVID-19 vaccination effort has been a confusing one in Virginia up until this point. The governor worked to address frustration with the process Wednesday. Nick Gilmore reports.

The governor has also extended restrictions put in place last month to cut down on further spread of COVID-19 through the end of February. They were originally set to expire this week.

“We are ramping up vaccinations. This is no time to let down our guard,” he said.

Those restrictions include a stay-at-home order from 12 to 5am each day, a universal mask mandate for everyone five and older and a cap on social gatherings to 10 people.

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Challenges Abound for Vaccination Efforts in Virginia’s Rural Communities

Dr. Richard Williams (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

This week, some of Virginia’s rural health districts have begun the second round of COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to immunizing people in group 1B. That’s putting a strain on health districts on the Eastern Shore, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Pamela D’Angelo spoke with the doctor who’s heading up efforts there.

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State Health Officials: Demand for Vaccines Far Outpacing Actual Supply

It’s been a tough week for state and local health departments, scrambling to meet demand for COVID vaccine. Friday, they took time out to tell reporters about the challenges ahead. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Northam: Vaccination Efforts Ramping Up, New Guidelines for Reopening Schools

Virginia’s governor announced plans to speed up vaccine distribution and the reopening of schools. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find that new guidance from the Virginia Department of Education here.

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Northam: Teachers and Childcare Workers to Be Included in Next Round of Vaccines

Governor Ralph Northam

Virginia has begun vaccinating people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, Governor Ralph Northam has provided a roadmap for the state’s next steps. Nick Gilmore has details.

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The Economic Impact of COVID-19 is Hurting Certain Parts of Virginia More than Others

The economic crisis is hitting some parts of Virginia harder than others. Michael Pope has the story.

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State Lawmakers Face Unique Challenge With Doling Out Education Funding Next Year

Lawmakers will return to Richmond next month – and writing a new budget will be a priority. But, they’ll have to answer some questions about what kind of assumptions they want to make about schools. Michael Pope reports.

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Economic Recovery Following the Pandemic is on Track, But Could Take Longer in Rural Virginia

Recovering to pre-pandemic employment levels is expected to take longer in rural Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Announces Curfew, Other Restrictions Amid Pandemic

Gov. Ralph Northam announces the new restrictions Thursday afternoon. (Credit: Governor’s office livestream)

New COVID-19 restrictions will go into effect Monday morning thanks to record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 infections. Nick Gilmore has details on what Virginians can expect.

You can find the full executive order here.

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The Pandemic’s Impact on Where People Want to Live

The pandemic economy is influencing the prices of rental housing, and where people are choosing to live. Michael Pope has details.

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‘What We Were Meant To Do’ Medical Reserve Corps Preps for Vaccinations

More than 12,000 volunteers have stepped up to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic, but officials say more will be needed before it’s all over. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Virginia Restaurants Coming to Terms with New Alcohol Restrictions

Restaurants across Virginia are adapting to new rules about when they can serve alcohol. Michael Pope reports.

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New Virginia COVID-19 Restrictions Begin Monday

Credit: CDC

Governor Ralph Northam announced a series of increased restrictions designed to combat the increase of COVID-19 cases. Nick Gilmore has details on the new restrictions set to go into effect at 12:01am Monday.

You can find more information here.

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State Election Officials Reflect on Efforts to Safely Vote in a Pandemic

As the polls closed yesterday, Commissioner of Elections Chris Piper talked about the changes and challenges Virginia saw during this election. Jahd Khalil has more.

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New Study: More Deaths Can Be Attributed to COVID-19

A new study from Virginia Commonwealth University suggests the death rate from COVID-19 is higher than reported. 

Sandy Hausman spoke with its lead author about the under-count, what some states have done wrong during the pandemic and how this state has performed.

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Officials Hope New VDH Tool Will Help Virginia School Divisions

State health officials continue to roll out more tools to help in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. And as Nick Gilmore reports, they hope the newest one will help school divisions across Virginia.

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Virginia Senate Committee Kills Paid Quarantine Leave Bill

Lawmakers are rejecting an effort to require businesses offer paid quarantine leave. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Balance the Budget… Again

Lawmakers are trying to budget the state out of the red ink created by slumping revenues tied to the economic crisis. Michael Pope reports.

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Advocates Say There’s Adequate Funding to Reinstate Healthcare Spending

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

Faced with uncertainty about the costs of the coronavirus, lawmakers hit pause on plans to spend more money on Medicaid coverage earlier this year. But, in spite of an expected revenue shortfall, policy experts say there’s plenty of money left for healthcare spending. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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Virginia Senate Shelves COVID Workers Comp Bill for Now

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Should workers who get COVID-19 be eligible for workers’ compensation? As Michael Pope reports, lawmakers aren’t sure.

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Paid Sick Days Proposal is Dead, but Virginia House Moving Forward With Quarantine Leave

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Efforts to require paid sick days during the pandemic have already fallen apart in the Senate. But, efforts are moving forward in the House for a quarantine leave. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Adding Civil Penalty for Emergency Order Violations Passes State Senate

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What happens if someone violates the governor’s executive order on the pandemic? Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Want to Ensure a Tuition Freeze Still Happens

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Earlier this year, lawmakers set aside millions of dollars to freeze tuition rates. They shifted course and unallotted that money when COVID-19 cast a shadow of economic doubt, but now, a move to restore those funds has bipartisan support. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Virginia Senate Strikes Down COVID-19 Business Immunity Bill

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Credit: CDC

Should corporations be immune from lawsuits if customers contract COVID-19? Michael Pope reports.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Drop Box Funding Passes In Virginia House and Senate

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a plan to spend $2 million to help voters cast ballots during the pandemic. But, critics say they are opening the door to vote harvesting and election fraud. Michael Pope has details.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Drop Boxes Legislation Moves Forward in Virginia Senate

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a plan to fund drop boxes for ballots across Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Guzman Bill Providing Paid Quarantine Leave Moves to House Appropriations Committee

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Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán

Public health officials have recommended self-isolation for people who’ve come down with or come into contact with COVID-19. For many caregivers and workers, staying home means losing days or weeks of wages. Cat Modlin-Jackson has details.

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Committee Kills Vaccine Opt-Out Legislation

COVID 19

Credit: CDC

What happens when a vaccine for COVID-19 comes online? Tuesday, Republican lawmakers pushed legislation that would’ve limited mandates on immunizations. Cat Modlin-Jackson has this report.

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COVID-Altered Budget: Can State Lawmakers Squeeze in Funding for Clerk Positions?

StateSeal00Some of Virginia’s understaffed courts won big earlier this year when legislators approved funding for new district clerk positions. But their gain was lost to pandemic budget freezes, leaving court administrators to struggle under the weight of a workload that’s only grown because of COVID-19. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Voting in a Pandemic: State Lawmakers Working to Establish Protections for November Election

General Assembly 2020With a little more than two months to go before the nation’s first pandemic presidential election, lawmakers in Virginia’s General Assembly are fast tracking a measure to establish socially-distant election protocols. Monday, members of the House of Delegates pushed full speed ahead. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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Legislating in the Era of COVID: Zoom Meetings and Electronic Votes

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Republican Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment says the Senate has never voted on anything virtually, and he warns it will be a “dangerous precedent” to start voting via Zoom during Monday’s Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee meeting.

Members of the Virginia Senate are joining the era of Zoom, voting electronically during a special session. Michael Pope reports.

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ICE Facilities Could Be Subject to Virginia Regulators Under Boysko Legislation

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State Senator Jennifer Boysko (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

State regulators may be on their way to inspect detention centers holding people accused of violating immigration laws.

Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Weigh Options to Help Relieve Eviction Crisis

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The economic fallout of COVID-19 has amplified Virginia’s eviction crisis, leaving lawmakers to negotiate a solution that would keep both tenants and landlords from going under. Members of the House and Senate have proposed rules mandating payment agreements, but they’re not entirely on the same page. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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COVID-19 Prompts Cuts to Education in Revised Northam Budget

governor-northam-official-photo_800Governor Northam’s revised budget bill proposes cuts for education and a boost to Medicaid spending. But, the loss for schools isn’t necessarily a gain for healthcare. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

Here’s the full report from the Commonwealth Institute.

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In the Age of COVID-19, Should Every Virginia School Have a Nurse?

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Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

School systems across Virginia are trying to figure out how they can reopen for face-to-face classes. And, they might be getting some help from lawmakers. Michael Pope reports.

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COVID-19 Prompting At Least One State Lawmaker to Rethink License Ceremonies

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The pandemic has upended many aspects of day to day life, including teenagers who get their first driver’s license. And as Michael Pope tells us, lawmakers are considering upending a long-standing tradition.

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