A two-week wait for test results in Danville, food banks running low, state funds temporary housing for homeless, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Virginia now has 2,637 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 230 from Saturday’s tally, and more than 50 people have died, according to the state health department.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• “Three more residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have died at a Virginia long-term care facility, the center disclosed on Sunday, bringing the death toll from one of the nation’s worst coronavirus clusters to 20.”—Associated Press

• A Danville woman waited nearly two weeks for her test results, which were positive.—The Danville Register & Bee

• Businesses are scrambling to figure out what government aid they might be eligible for. “We’re dealing with business owners who are very fearful because they’re closing or fearful whether they’ll be able to stay open.”—The Roanoke Times

• “The huge spike in the number of jobless claims has flooded Virginia’s unemployment system, frustrating laid-off workers trying to file for benefits.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Local food banks are running out of food. “An 81-year-old woman ‘called three days in a row crying,’ said Pamela Irvine, president and CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia.”—The Roanoke Times

• “The Virginia Department of Corrections said Saturday that 13 inmates — 12 of them in two women’s facilities — and five staff have tested positive for COVID-19.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Over the past two weeks, Virginia Beach has quietly offered 46 hotel rooms to homeless individuals, in the hopes that getting them off the streets would help prevent the spread of coronavirus. To the city’s surprise, Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed the idea on Friday — announcing $2.5 million in emergency funding for localities across the state to provide temporary housing for about 1,500 people without shelter.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• “Cities and towns across the Roanoke and New River valleys have seen an increase in absentee voting for the upcoming May 5 elections.”—The Roanoke Times

• A union representing medical workers at the Hampton VA Medical Center says it’s desperate for donated masks because administrators are instructing some workers to re-use the one-time-use products. Administrators say they’re following CDC guidelines. “What the union is annoyed with is that we’re not randomly giving everyone an N95.”—Daily Press

• Local police say they’re still obviously responding to calls, but some departments are trying to handle certain reports by phone rather than in person, including reports of property damage, stolen property, harassment, thefts and shoplifting.—Daily Press

• Why does Justin Fairfax keep talking about the sexual assault claims against him?—The Washington Post

• Restaurant owners are showering medical workers and first responders with free food. “They’re tired and they’re grateful to be fed.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

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