News to Know for March 26: $2.2 trillion rescue package; Cases in Virginia near 400; SNAP emergency benefits; VCU develops COVID-19 test; Finally, a beautiful day

News to Know for March 26: $2.2 trillion rescue package; Cases in Virginia near 400; SNAP emergency benefits; VCU develops COVID-19 test; Finally, a beautiful day
The Senate late Wednesday passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at our top headlines to help get you out the door.

Pleasant Day (Finally)

Sunshine and milder temperatures will return Thursday, then a big warmup on Friday.

Partly sunny and warmer. Lows near 40, highs the lower 60s.

Pleasant and Seasonable Thursday, Big warmup Friday

Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus has dominated headlines across the United States, and the status within our country and commonwealth is changing rapidly. To make it easier to stay up to date, NBC12 put everything you need to know in one place.

$2.2 Trillion Economic Rescue Package

The Senate late Wednesday passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

It includes a controversial, heavily negotiated $500 billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including airlines. Hospitals would get significant help as well.

To see a breakdown of what’s in the rescue package, click here.

On Capitol Hill, senators scramble to negotiate the largest federal spending package in modern American history.
On Capitol Hill, senators scramble to negotiate the largest federal spending package in modern American history.

Deaths In The U.S. Reach 1,000

U.S. deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have topped 1,000, in another grim milestone for a global outbreak that is taking lives and wreaking havoc on economies and established routines of ordinary life.

Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 21,000, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. had 1,050 deaths and nearly 70,000 infections.

The Coronavirus pandemic still poses a significant threat.
The Coronavirus pandemic still poses a significant threat.

New York is the epicenter of the domestic outbreak, accounting for more than 30,000 cases and close to 300 deaths, most of them in New York City.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

400 Cases In Virginia

Governor Ralph Northam says Virginia is “fighting a biological war” as the total number of positive coronavirus cases in Virginia has risen to more than 390 with 59 patients being hospitalized.

Henrico County has the most cases in the state of Virginia with 20 confirmed cases.

Stick with News Channel 6 as we learn more.
Stick with News Channel 6 as we learn more. (Source: WXIX photo)

On Tuesday, the governor reiterated that COVID-19 will continue to impact the commonwealth for months, not weeks.

So far, nine Virginians have died from the virus, and it has now spread to all regions of the state.

SNAP Benefits

Virginia recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive emergency benefits during the months of March and April.

The benefits are part of a provision in the Families First Coronavirus Responses Act of 2020; they will go to any household not already receiving the maximum benefits.

The emergency benefits will allow the household’s current monthly allotment to increase to the maximum allotment for a household of that size, for example:

Virginia recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive emergency benefits during the months of March and April.
Virginia recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive emergency benefits during the months of March and April. (Source: NBC12)

The emergency benefits for March were released Wednesday, March 25 and automatically loaded to recipients’ SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

SNAP households will receive their regular April benefits on their usual issuance date, with emergency benefits added on April 16.

Third Henrico Resident Dies From Coronavirus

Officials confirmed on Wednesday that a third resident at a Henrico long-term rehab center has died of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total deaths to 13.

The third death comes after officials said two elderly residents of the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center died on Tuesday of the virus. The three were among those receiving treatment at a hospital.

The center said over the last 11 days that 14 Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Three of them are the patients who died.

Two residents are being treated at a regional hospital and while nine other patients are being treated at the center in an isolated unit with dedicated nurses and staff. Additionally, four Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

VCU Develops Test

Virginia Commonwealth University Health System announced Wednesday that it has developed an in-house COVID-19 test for inpatients during a pilot program.

The in-house test will reduce wait times and will in turn help reduce the risk of coronavirus being spread in the community, VCU Health said.

VCU Health
VCU Health (Source: NBC12)

Testing during the pilot program will mostly be available to patients that require hospitalization who present severe symptoms of COVID-19 and is dependent on supply as materials for the tests remain limited nationwide.

VCU Health will continue to develop in-house testing capabilities.

Surgeries Canceled

Gov. Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver have directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of personal protective equipment and beds.

“The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient. The order also does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs,” a release said.

Governor Northam hold his daily coronavirus press briefing.
Governor Northam hold his daily coronavirus press briefing. (Source: wwbt/ncb12)

Earlier this week, Northam recommended that hospitals postpone elective surgeries and many already have.

To view the full executive order, click here.

Sidewalk Chalk Day In Midlothian

Members of the Hallsley community in Midlothian will host a Sidewalk Chalk Day on Thursday at noon.

Neighbors are asked to grab their chalk and decorate the ends of their driveways.

The theme is anything Disney.

Toddlers, teens, and adults are welcome to participate.
Toddlers, teens, and adults are welcome to participate. (Source: Pixabay)

Toddlers, teens, and adults are welcome to participate.

Final Thought

The day you stop worrying, will be the first day of your new life; anxiety takes you in circles, trust in yourself and become free - Leon Brown

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