Distillers switch to sanitizer, gun sales soar, new drive-thru COVID-19 testing and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Working from home in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak is not an option for first responders.”  — The Free Lance-Star

• Silverback Distillery, owned by Christine Riggleman, wife of U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, is the latest distillery to switch to hand sanitizer production. They are giving it to first responders and medical staff. — The Daily Progress 

• Virginia gun sales are spiking, which reflects the virus worries but also the new gun laws that passed the General Assembly. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• New drive-thru virus testing centers have opened. — The Virginian-Pilot.

• Mary Washington Hospital is setting up a “field hospital” in a parking lot in case of a surge in patients. — The Free Lance-Star

• Some child care centers say “guidance from the state leaves a lot open to interpretation regarding how providers should respond.” — VPM 

• “A Charlottesville man is planning to build an RV Park where folks can recover from COVID-19.” — WVTF

• Vets in the Roanoke area are bringing pets inside while their owners wait in the car, a social distancing practice. — The Roanoke Times

• More inmates are being released on home electronic monitoring in local jails to curtail the potential spread of the coronavirus. — The Daily ProgressThe Roanoke TimesNews Leader

• Virginia restaurants that have a license to sell beer or wine can now sell it to go. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia students are among hundreds of Americans stuck in Peru after borders were closed. — The Virginian-Pilot 

• City and county governments are figuring out how to conduct the public’s business amid the outbreak. — Richmond Times-DispatchMartinsville BulletinNews & Advance

• SOLs are canceled this year for Virginia elementary, middle and high school students. — The Virginian-Pilot 

• Love in the time of coronavirus: “It was a ‘spur of the moment’ thing amid a global pandemic: A marriage proposal on Danville’s Riverwalk Trail.” — Danville Register & Bee

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Robert Zullo
Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]