State officials urge Virginians to stay home for Thanksgiving, rapid COVID-19 tests flow to Va. nursing homes, Charlottesville christens ‘Spruce Bader Ginsburg,’ and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• As Thanksgiving looms and COVID-19 cases spike nationwide, Virginia officials are asking residents to help slow the virus’ spread by staying home for the holiday or holding celebrations outdoors or online.—Virginian-Pilot

• Virginia has begun shipping 239,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to nursing homes ahead of Thanksgiving as the facilities look for ways residents can meet safely with family members for the holiday. Almost half of Virginia’s nearly 3,900 COVID deaths have been nursing home residents.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia Democrats are weighing their options after Republicans said they’ll use their voting power to block the 2021 regular session from exceeding 30 days.—Washington Post

• “Sen. Amanda Chase, a Republican candidate for governor, says Virginia’s Democratic Party hates white people and that the party is seeking the Richmond voter registrar’s ouster because she is white.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General found that Loudoun County Public Schools had a discriminatory impact on Black and Latinx/Hispanic students who applied to the district’s STEM programs in 2018. “This is an entire system that needs to be overhauled,” said the head of the local NAACP.—Loudoun Times

• A new “S.W.A.M.P.” index tracking whether states “have rules to thwart potential corruption and conflict of interests and punish lawmakers who disobey the rules” ranked Virginia at the bottom of its list, above just five other states.—VPM

• Although hiring at Virginia Tech slowed to more than half its usual rate this summer, its payroll increased by $28 million between April and the end of October. One official told the Board of Visitors he thinks the school has been “conservative and perfectly responsive to the critical needs of the campus.”—Roanoke Times

• Pulaski County is using $400,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to help its push to deploy broadband.—Roanoke Times

• As cold temperatures set in, Arlington restaurants trying to outfit outdoor seating areas with heat are running into barriers from state and local fire codes.—ARLNow

• A man seen forcefully exhaling on two women outside President Donald Trump’s Virginia golf course has been charged with assault.—Associated Press

• Charlottesville residents christened their Grand Illumination tree “Spruce Bader Ginsburg.” The name beat out competitors “Alex Treebek” and “Doctor Fautree” in an online poll.—NBC29

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