Freitas wins Republican nomination to challenge Spanberger, testing lags jeopardize contact tracing, special session to start Aug. 18, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

•  “Republicans picked state Del. Nicholas J. Freitas at a convention Saturday to challenge freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) in November, enduring a scorching day at the state fairgrounds as the party tries to regain its footing in Virginia’s suburbs.”—The Washington Post

• Gov. Ralph Northam set a date — Aug. 18 — for the legislature’s special session to address the COVID-19 budget shortfall and police reform.—VPM

• Virginia saw its number of COVID-19 cases increase by more than 1,000 between Saturday and Sunday, with the percent positivity creeping up also.—NBC12

• Testing turnaround times are stretching out to 10 days or more in Washington, Virginia and Maryland, “erasing the chance to do meaningful contact tracing and leaving them in limbo.”—Washington Post

• Virginia Employment Commissioner Ellen Marie Hess defended the state’s handing of unemployment claims amid mounting criticism from lawmakers. “While there is room for improvement, the professional staff at VEC has worked admirably under exceedingly difficult circumstances,” she wrote.—Associated Press

• Parents and school districts around the state are in the midst of a wrenching debate over school reopening plans.—Richmond Times-DispatchThe Virginian-Pilot

• A businessman in Culpeper is offering to pay the town $50,000 to cover the cost of removing a Confederate monument in front of the county courthouse. In Richmond, a fundraising effort to cover an estimated $1.8 million in monument removal expenses has so far pulled in $25,000.—Culpeper Star-ExponentRichmond Free Press

•  A group of Virginia prisoners announced they formed a chapter of Black Lives Matter.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Two were injured in a stabbing at a Chantilly church before the assailant was subdued by the congregation, which included Fairfax County’s police chief, who was also injured in the attack.—InsideNova 

• A Norfolk man was arrested for allegedly harassing the mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma in an attempt to get him to cancel a rally there by President Donald Trump.—The Associated Press

• State liquor stores will start enforcing a no-exceptions mask policy today. People who can’t or don’t want to wear masks can still place an order online for curbside pickup.—Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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