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Chesapeake jail opens COVID isolation unit as hundreds of inmates test positive

By GORDON RAGO, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Some inmates at the Chesapeake city jail have been moved to an isolated coronavirus unit after an outbreak, the sheriff’s office said. On Friday, Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan’s office said 232 inmates tested positive for the virus — roughly 24% of the overall jail population of 985. Four deputies also tested positive.

VaNews December 1, 2020


W&M men’s basketball ‘pausing’ team activities due to ‘COVID-19 protocol’

Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

The William & Mary men’s basketball program paused all team activities following a positive COVID-19 test within the team’s Tier 1 personnel. The program was notified of a positive result on Sunday as part of the program’s regular surveillance testing. In following guidelines set forth by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, the NCAA and campus community, all Tier 1 members of the program (players, coaches, trainers and managers) will quarantine for 14 days.

VaNews December 1, 2020


As solar farms multiply across Virginia, officials reckon with land use challenges

By SARAH VOGELSONG, Virginia Mercury

Once upon a time, Virginia saw Halifax County as a golden place. Just above the North Carolina border, in the heart of Southside Virginia, Halifax’s sunshine and abundant lands yielded some of the country’s largest crops of brightleaf tobacco. . . . Today, the landscape is far different. The population has shrunk and is aging. . . .Tobacco is a shadow of its former glory. Halifax, though, still has the two resources that once put it on the map: sunshine and abundant land.

VaNews December 1, 2020


Virginia tests plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

With the initial shipments of a new vaccine against COVID-19 potentially weeks away, Virginia is testing its plan for distributing the initially limited supply of the vaccine to the people who need it most — front-line medical workers and the employees and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

VaNews December 1, 2020


Virginia COVID-19 cases rise by 1,893 over Sunday's total

By STAFF REPORT, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that the state’s cumulative total for COVID-19 cases during the pandemic is now up to 237,835 — an increase of 1,893 from Sunday. The 237,835 cases consist of 211,254 confirmed cases and 26,581 probable cases.

VaNews December 1, 2020


School Divisions Navigating VDH Recommendations

By MEGAN WILLIAMS, Daily News Record (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

In light of the rise in COVID-19 cases across the state and the Virginia Department of Health placing almost every school division in the highest risk category, officials are having to make tough calls about the remainder of the 2020 school year. All but 10 school divisions in Virginia have been placed in the “red” zone by the VDH based on number of cases and hospitalizations. The regional director for the VDH recommended that all school divisions go entirely virtual.

VaNews December 1, 2020


Virginia officials prepare to distribute vaccine

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

Virginia officials are preparing to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they become available, possibly as soon as next week, Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday. Biotech firm Moderna Inc. on Monday claimed its vaccine against the novel coronavirus was 94% effective in its 30,000-member, phase three clinical trial group and 100% effective against severe disease.

VaNews December 1, 2020


Gov. Ralph Northam joins local food bank volunteers

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

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joined a dozen other volunteers Monday to pack food for distribution across the region. Northam, members of his traveling party and Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, spent some time filling bags with potatoes, carrots and apples at the Feeding Southwest Virginia food bank in Abingdon. The first lady and other members of the administration volunteered at food banks statewide.

VaNews December 1, 2020


As COVID-19 cases climb, first-graders set to return to Prince William County classrooms

By STAFF REPORT, Inside NOVA (Metered Paywall)

Approximately 3,000 first-graders in Prince William County are set to return to classrooms on a part-time basis starting Tuesday. They will join kindergartners and pre-kindergartners who returned Nov. 10, despite an ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases. As of Monday morning, the school division’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 177 positive coronavirus cases among staff and/or students at county schools. Last month there were 84, and in September there were 50.

VaNews December 1, 2020


Bedford's 'no shutdown' crowd gives aid and comfort to the enemy

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

Can the government tell you when to shut off your lights? If it did, would that be considered tyranny? Heck yes! I have the right to keep my lights on whenever I want! You’ll have to pry the light switch out of my cold, dead hands! OK, but what if we were at war? During World War II, East Coast cities routinely had blackouts at night to thwart either German submarines lurking off-shore, or, less likely, German bombers. Even Detroit, a city nearly 600 miles inland but home to factories vital to the war effort, had blackouts. Was that tyranny? Or was that patriotism?

VaNews December 1, 2020