COVID-19

Unemployment claims in Virginia surged this week as efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 prompted mass business closures and cutbacks. The state fielded more than 30,000 applications for cash assistance since Monday. That’s a 1,500 percent increase over last week, when the state received 1,973 claims, according to Gov....
After adjourning a historic legislative session last week, a few Democratic lawmakers crossed Capitol Square to stand with Gov. Ralph Northam at a news conference about the state’s response to COVID-19. Then they left town and went home to their districts. Then the world changed. With almost 100 confirmed coronavirus...
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has suspended all routine fieldwork, including regular inspections and in-person monitoring, for two weeks in the face of the continuing spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. The agency announced the move Wednesday afternoon as part of a push...
The Supreme Court of Virginia declared a judicial emergency Monday, a sweeping order that has suspended all non-emergency court actions. It was widely understood to include evictions — a point of particular concern amid pleas that people stay in their homes to avoid spreading COVID-19. But some courts didn’t read...
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is asking Gov. Ralph Northam to take "bolder and swifter actions" to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. In a letter to the governor dated Wednesday, Fairfax said Virginia should mandate closures of restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms, close all schools...
WASHINGTON — Two members of the U.S. House announced Wednesday that they had tested positive for COVID-19, leading other lawmakers to announce their own self-quarantine plans and increasing uncertainty about how far the illness has already spread on Capitol Hill. Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart issued a statement Wednesday that he had...
WASHINGTON — A second major coronavirus package cleared the U.S. Senate Wednesday and was signed by President Donald Trump. The bill passed 90-8, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The multi-billion dollar measure aims to slow the spread of a new coronavirus and stimulate the economy as a major recession looms. The package...
It may be the height of irony during Sunshine Week — the access and transparency community's annual love letter to open records and open meetings laws across our country — to hear me say that all the rules of open government might not apply right now. I've never been one...
By Angela Ciolfi There is nothing like a crisis to expose the cavernous gaps in our systems of support. A few examples among many: Evicting people from public housing for unpaid rent when other affordable housing options are scarce has always increased homelessness and educational instability. COVID-19 just lays bare the...
Blood has become the latest casualty in the ongoing battle against coronavirus. Donations across Virginia dropped by 30 percent in the past few days as high schools, office buildings and college campuses — some of the biggest blood drive organizers — shut their doors. More than 4,000 blood drives have...