Hospital group asks Northam to consider new restrictions, rents dropping in NoVa as vacancy rates rise, two Loudoun leaders push for LaRock’s resignation, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• The trade group representing Virginia hospitals asked Gov. Ralph Northam to consider imposing further coronavirus restrictions to relieve pressure on health care providers amid a spike in cases. “It’s the urgency of preventing Virginia hospitals from getting to the point that has been reached in other states.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Health officials in Roanoke are urging patience as they face a flood of phone calls from elderly residents seeking COVID-19 vaccines. “If you are 75 years or older and you can stay home and be safe, please continue to do so. It’s really important to us to get vaccine into the arms of our public-facing frontline essential workers.”—Roanoke Times

• “A translation problem on the Virginia Department of Health website apparently has been telling Spanish readers they don’t need the coronavirus vaccine.”—Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a joint statement urging people not to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration next Monday. “Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C., and to instead participate virtually.”—WTOP

• Glenn Youngkin, a multi-millionaire former private equity executive, filed paperwork laying the groundwork for a Republican gubernatorial campaign. “He is going to make sure his campaign is well-funded and has the resources necessary to win,” a spokesman said.—Washington Post

• “The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in an immigration case that originated in Virginia. The crux of the case: whether some undocumented immigrants in federal custody can be released on bond.”—VPM

• Some Virginia Democrats are pushing to allow gas station slot machines, sometimes called skill games, to continue to operate for another year. Gov. Ralph Northam says he still favors banning them beginning July 1.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “The U.S. Forest Service has approved, for the second time, Mountain Valley Pipeline’s pathway through the Jefferson National Forest.”—Roanoke Times

• Rents are dropping in D.C. and Northern Virginia as vacancy rates rise amid the pandemic.—WTOP

• “Two members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors are calling for the resignation of state Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd), claiming that he is continuing to spread misinformation about the 2020 presidential election.”—Loudoun Times-Mirror

• LaRock is scheduled to appear in Loudoun County District Court tomorrow on trespassing and property destruction charges. A neighbor alleges he lectured her “about her religious position on minority groups and told her she would ‘meet her maker soon.’”—Northern Virginia Daily

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