A May surge in COVID-19 cases, no ventilators for Va. from national stockpile yet, UVA’s new hospital tower, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Virginia is now projecting a surge in coronavirus cases between late April and late May. “You need to know the truth. No sugarcoating,” Northam said Wednesday.—Associated Press

• “Scientific models of how the coronavirus pandemic will unfold in Virginia vary wildly, but there is one thing they all agree on: The more people take social distancing seriously, the smaller the number of those who will get sick and die.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• The state identified two of three sites where they plan to establish field hospitals in anticipation of a surge of patients: the ExxonMobil facility in Fairfax County and the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton. A third site in Richmond is planned but has not yet been announced—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia requested 350 ventilators from the national stockpile but has not received any.—The New York Times

• “Vice President Mike Pence thanked local workers contributing to the national food supply chain amid the pandemic emergency on Wednesday during an in-person visit to Walmart Distribution Center #7016 in the Zion Crossroads area of Gordonsville.”—Culpeper Star-Exponent

• Bon Secours is furloughing some workers at its hospitals around the state in a move that seems counterintuitive given the health crisis but that administrators say is necessary to account for a drop in revenues that followed the cancellation of many outpatient and elective procedures.—The Virginian-Pilot

• UVA is opening a new hospital tower earlier than planned to boost its available bed count.—The Daily Progress

• Advocates are pushing for a relief fund for undocumented workers who are facing layoffs but are ineligible for unemployment benefits and other aid. “They don’t know how they’re going to pay for basic expenses like housing, utilities and food.”—Prince William Times

• Leaders at Virginia Tech and Radford say their students are mostly following social distancing rules, despite complaints and reports from residents. “Because of the nature of how things can be perceived, people look very differently at four or five college students standing in the yard than a mom, dad and two kids standing in the yard.”—The Roanoke Times

• Attorney General Mark Herring warns there’s been an onslaught of coronavirus-themed scams, from fake cures and test kits to bogus charities.—The Roanoke Times

• Spotty and expensive internet access means some teachers and parents in rural areas are struggling with the transition to online learning.—The News & Advance

• The transition from classrooms to video conferences has been a change for college students too. “I’m going to kill a fifth during this lecture,” announced a UVA student after joining a data science class in Zoom. “I can hear you,” the professor replied.—C-VILLE

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