Test rules eased on Virginia doctors, nursing home residents
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia health officials have eased COVID-19 testing criteria for doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients and for nursing home and long-term care home residents. Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement on Saturday, as the number of positive cases for the new coronavirus in the state went over 150. Northam also says he issued an executive order to give nursing homes and hospitals more flexibility to add beds so they can address the anticipated surge in individuals needing care. Attorney General Mark Herring also made clear that public bodies can hold electronic meetings to address an emergency.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-OUTER BANKS
N Carolina commission: Vacation renters should get refunds
DUCK, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state panel says people renting beach houses in counties that have blocked visitor access to the Outer Banks because of the new coronavirus should get their money refunded. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has ruled that state law sides with tenants in this situation. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports the commission says landlords who won’t refund money are open to lawsuits. Dare and Currituck counties have approved orders preventing visitors and non-resident property owners from entering the Outer Banks. And Hyde County has blocked visitor access to Ocracoke Island.
Police in Virginia capital says 16-year-old shot to death
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia's capital city are seeking information about a homicide in which a 16-year-old youth died. Richmond police were called to a shooting on the city's east side and found the male teenager inside a convenience store. The teenager was pronounced dead at a local hospital. His name hasn't been released. A male adult inside the store at the time was also shot. He went to the hospital for a non-life-threatening injury. No charges have been filed.
WHITE SUPREMACISTS ARRESTED
Judge won't free man linked to extremists over virus risk
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has ruled the risk of exposure to coronavirus in jail doesn't warrant freeing a 19-year-old Maryland man while he awaits trial on criminal charges stemming from his membership in a violent white supremacist group. Attorneys for William Garfield Bilbrough IV say his diabetes makes him particularly vulnerable if he's exposed to coronavirus while he's detained at the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington, D.C.. On Friday, however, U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan ruled there's no reason to believe Bilbrough is at increased risk of being infected. Bilbrough and two other men linked to a white supremacist group called The Base have been in custody since their arrests in January.
Police: Officer serving warrant fatally shot man in Virginia
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say that an officer has fatally shot a man while trying to take him into custody. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the shooting occurred about 11:25 a.m. Friday near the Atlantic ocean in Virginia Beach. Police said that officers from Virginia Beach and the nearby city of Norfolk were working together on a joint operation when officers attempted to serve a felony warrant. Police said a suspect was killed and that a handgun was recovered near him. Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Tonya Pierce said officers rendered first aid but the man died. Police did not identify the man or the officer who shot him.
Absentee voting begins in Virginia town elections
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — In-person absentee voting is now underway across Virginia for town elections across the state. State and local officials are encouraging people to vote absentee. Usually a voter must have a reason to vote absentee, but officials say any voter can do so for the May 5 town elections by choosing the “illness” option because of the coronavirus pandemic. In-person absentee voting begins Friday across the state. In Loudoun County, officials say curbside voting will be in place and required for anyone casting an absentee ballot there. Anyone not registered to vote who wants to vote in their town election has until April 13 to register.
State trooper graduation ceremony canceled
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia State Police just added 36 new troopers to its ranks. The department said 36 troopers and one new special agent accountant graduated from the state police academy Tuesday. Their commencement ceremony was canceled because of the coronavirus. The new troopers began their training at the academy last August and are from Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.
Courts: Virginia teacher accused of hitting child with ruler