COVID-19

Northam announces new vaccine and testing requirements for state employees

BY: - August 5, 2021

Roughly 122,000 state employees will be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing, Gov. Ralph Northam is announcing Thursday — the latest in a line of mandates across the country aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus delta variant. Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said the policy will apply to employees and […]

City of Richmond introduces first employee vaccine mandate in Virginia

BY: - August 4, 2021

The City of Richmond will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for its employees, Mayor Levar Stoney announced Wednesday, becoming the first locality in Virginia to implement the requirement. The mandate applies to about 3,600 public employees, including police, fire, public works, social services and parks and recreation workers. It won’t, however, extend to roughly 500 constitutional officers […]

COMMENTARY

You shouldn’t need an incentive to do the right thing

BY: - August 3, 2021

COVID-19’s delta variant is wreaking havoc among the unvaccinated across the United States. New coronavirus cases are rising. People who should know better continue to raise doubts about the vaccines fighting the pandemic – one that’s killed more than 613,000 people nationwide. Amid this plague, several states are offering cold, hard cash to entice people […]

Virginia legislators are divvying up $4.3B in federal aid. Here’s what’s in the plan.

BY: - August 2, 2021

Democrats are calling it a rare chance to make strategic spending moves that will shape Virginia’s future for years to come, an opportunity to devote big dollars to some of the state’s most pressing problems. Republicans see an exercise in one-party rule, with only Democratic leaders deciding what the top issues are and what to […]

COMMENTARY

What is a breakthrough infection?

BY: - July 30, 2021

By Sanjay Mishra, Vanderbilt University If you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, maybe you figured you no longer need to worry about contracting the coronavirus. But along with the rising number of new COVID-19 cases globally and growing concern about highly transmissible strains like the delta variant come reports of fully vaccinated people testing positive […]

COMMENTARY

Why the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors even if you’ve been fully vaccinated

BY: - July 29, 2021

By Peter Chin-Hong, University of California, San Francisco Vaccinated people need to mask up again, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On July 27, 2021, the CDC recommended that everyone in areas with high COVID-19 infection rates wear masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. It’s a reversal from […]

Some Virginia nursing homes join the call for employee vaccine mandates

BY: - July 27, 2021

Amid growing concerns over the more-infectious Delta variant, some of Virginia’s long-term care facilities are joining the push for employee vaccine mandates. In a statement on Tuesday, LeadingAge Virginia, an association representing nonprofit aging services across the commonwealth, called on facilities to require immunization for all staff working in the long-term care industry. While the […]

CDC says the vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas with high infection rates

BY: - July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday urged Americans in areas of the country with the highest surges in COVID-19 infections to once again wear masks when they are in public, indoor settings — even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The updated recommendations marked a sharp shift from the agency’s guidance in May that Americans fully vaccinated against […]

Unemployment benefits aren’t the only thing keeping workers at home

BY: - July 27, 2021

Business owners, chambers of commerce types and some local officials around Virginia swore that ending enhanced unemployment benefits – of $300 a week from the federal government – would propel folks back into the workforce who’d been home during the pandemic.  The commonwealth should play a figurative Scrooge, these folks said, because places including restaurants, […]

Feds: Florida, Missouri, Texas account for 40 percent of all COVID-19 cases this week

BY: - July 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Amid a rise in infections and hospitalizations from the surging delta variant of COVID-19, the Biden administration is boosting money and other assistance to the hardest-hit areas of the country. This week, just three states with lower vaccination rates — Florida, Texas and Missouri — accounted for 40 percent of all cases nationwide.  […]

COMMENTARY

New COVID-19 vaccine warnings show the system to report side effects is working

BY: - July 22, 2021

By Justin Vesser, University of Virginia While the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been proved to be safe and effective, recent reports of rare adverse events, or side effects, have raised concerns. On July 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved an update to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet […]

Virginia’s new school COVID-19 guidance keeps most safety decisions in the hands of local districts

BY: - July 21, 2021

Masks, social distancing and screening should continue to play an outsized role in the upcoming school year, according to new safety guidelines released Wednesday by the Virginia Departments of Education and Health.  This year, though, state lawmakers have given local divisions much less leeway to go fully remote, citing growing mental health concerns among children […]