COVID-19 shows up in detention centers, Va. newspapers order furloughs, Repubs say stay-at-home order will hurt primaries, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
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• State health officials confirmed 1,250 cases of COVID-19, 165 hospitalizations and 27 deaths.—Virginia Department of Health

• Doctors and patients remain frustrated by rationing of COVID-19 tests. “Our system is broken,” wrote a Richmond woman who has twice been denied testing at area hospitals despite her doctor’s recommendations and severe symptoms. “We will not get a handle on the epidemiology of this thing until we start testing everyone, but there are no tests,” said her doctor.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Virginia Department of Corrections said three inmates at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed cases in the state prison system. Three DOC employees also tested positive. At the local level, an inmate in Fairfax County tested positive and is the first confirmed case in a county jail.—Associated Press

• “Virginia Republicans on Tuesday challenged the length of the ‘stay-at-home’ order Gov. Ralph Northam issued, arguing that it will hamper some of the party’s June primaries.” Northam responded that elections-related activities are clearly exempted but urged people to vote absentee.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The owner of nine daily newspapers in Virginia announced it would require employees to take two weeks of unpaid leave, citing a steep fall in ad revenue amid widespread business closures and cutbacks. Among the affected titles: The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times, Daily Progress and Bristol Herald Courier.—The Roanoke Times

• “A gun-rights group is threatening to sue Gov. Ralph Northam for forcing indoor shooting ranges to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• “All access points to the Appalachian Trail in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests have been temporarily closed in an attempt to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.”—The Roanoke Times

• Bedford County is the latest local government to set up a community aid center. Led by the sheriff’s office, a call center connects residents to food services, financial aid, and prescription deliveries.—The News & Advance

• James Madison University is using its gym to house 40 homeless residents during the pandemic.—Daily News-Record

• Hospitals say they welcome donations of protective gear like gloves, masks, gowns and shoe covers, but none are accepting homemade food items like casseroles, chip dip and cupcakes, though they appreciate the sentiment.—The Virginian-Pilot

• The state veterinarian says there’s no evidence cats and dogs can transmit COVID-19 to humans.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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