News to Know for April 7: Plans for Greater Richmond Convention Center; Va. will hit peak in cases; West Creek suspends services; Henrico redistricting delayed; Severe storms today

News to Know for April 7: Plans for Greater Richmond Convention Center; Va. will hit peak in cases; West Creek suspends services; Henrico redistricting delayed; Severe storms today
(Source: WNCN)

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

Severe Thunderstorms Ahead For Today

Warm air returns for a few days with a chance of strong to severe Tuesday storms.

Partly sunny with strong to severe storms possible in the afternoon through early evening.

Severe storms possible Tuesday afternoon

All of Central Virginia is included in the SLIGHT risk category with the main concerns being damaging wind and hail but there will also be a small tornado risk. Lows in the low 50s, highs in the upper 70s.

Coronavirus Updates

As the coronavirus continues to dominate headlines, NBC12 put everything you need to know in one place to make it easier to stay up to date.

How To Wear Face Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending the voluntary use of face coverings when in public.

However, health officials stress they don't want people rushing to get medical or surgical masks. Instead, one option is to make your own.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams shared a video showing how it can be done with items from around the house, like scarves, hand towels or even an old T-shirt. (Source: CDC/CNN)
Surgeon General Jerome Adams shared a video showing how it can be done with items from around the house, like scarves, hand towels or even an old T-shirt. (Source: CDC/CNN)

Surgeon General Jerome Adams shared a video showing how it can be done with items from around the house, like scarves, hand towels or even an old t-shirt.

Adams says the face coverings should be worn in public places like supermarkets where social distancing can be difficult to follow and not as a substitute for social distancing.

COVID-19 Cases In Va.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 2,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 54 deaths and 497 hospitalizations throughout the state.

Experts expect those numbers to continue to climb as more people get tested. So far, 24,521 Virginians have now been tested for the virus.

With a surge of COVID-19 cases expected in May, Friday afternoon, Northam announced that the Richmond Convention Center is one of three field hospitals being established across the state. The others are in Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

Over the next six weeks, the convention center will be transformed into a field hospital. The site can hold 432 acute cases or 758 non-acute cases.

Personal Protection Equipment For Va.

Governor Ralph Northam announced an official “stay-at-home” order on March 23 that began immediately and last until June 10 unless rescinded or amended.

Northam and the state’s COVID-19 response team announced the state is buying $27 million in personal protective equipment. The N-95 masks, gowns and gloves will be distributed by another company to health care providers around the commonwealth. The shipment is expected to arrive from Asia in one week.

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Va. Will Hit Peak Soon

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has changed Virginia’s projected COVID-19 outbreak peak from late May to late April.

The IHME is now predicting that April 20 will be the peak in the outbreak with deaths starting to flatten out in May.

(Source: pixabay)

According to the projections, April 22 is expected to Virginia’s deadliest day for COVID-19 related deaths.

The IHME is projecting that the peak day for the United States will be on April 15 with the peak deaths on April 16.

Greater Richmond Convention Center

State officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario and are moving forward with plans to make the Greater Richmond Convention Center an overflow hospital site.

The National Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working with health leaders and government officials right now as they come up with an emergency plan that could be needed in just a matter of weeks.

The Greater Richmond Convention Center
The Greater Richmond Convention Center (Source: WWBT)

As COVID 19 spreads fast, experts say initial estimates that Virginia could see its peak in cases in early May have shifted to the potential of an influx of cases next week.

That’s why the state is looking at The Richmond Convention Center as a massive hospital for people who come in contact with the disease.

West Creek Services Suspended

HCA Virginia’s Henrico Doctors’ Hospital announced that they will temporarily suspend emergency services at its West Creek Emergency Center (WCEC).

Services will be suspended at 7 a.m. on April 8 to deploy the health system’s staff and resources to meet the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services will be suspended at 7 a.m. on April 8 to deploy the health system’s staff and resources to meet the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Services will be suspended at 7 a.m. on April 8 to deploy the health system’s staff and resources to meet the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: NBC12)

Temporarily suspending services at WCEC will allow HCA Virginia to move key clinical staff and physicians, as well as much needed personal protective equipment (PPE), to other facilities within the HCA Virginia network that are experiencing a greater volume of COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patients.

All other free-standing emergency centers will remain fully operational, including Hanover Emergency Center, Swift Creek ER, and TriCities ER, and will continue to treat COVID-19 patients.

Henrico Delays Redistricting Process

Henrico County Public Schools announced that the redistricting process has been delayed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-198) pandemic and Governor Northam’s stay-at-home order.

The final stages of the process such as presentations, public hearings and the vote which had been scheduled for May 28, will occur at an undetermined time when the public can once again be engaged.

Updates about the redistricting process will continue to be posted as they become available on the school division’s redistricting webpage.

Donor Donates $1 Million To VCU

An anonymous donor has given $1 million to VCU Health to support the hospital system’s response to COVID-19.

That donor is also challenging others in the community to donate what they can.

VCU’s COVID-19 response fund is used exclusively to deal with issues facing both Richmond and central Virginia as a whole.

The funds help address:

  • Patient support: Diagnostic and treatment efforts, care, equipment and facilities, home monitoring and transportation.
  • Research: Clinical trials, inpatient testing and participation in national efforts as well as research related to creating our own equipment and devices to save lives threatened by COVID-19.
  • Medical staff and health sciences student support: Rooms for hospital staff working in COVID-related areas who can’t return home and put their families at risk, increasing child care alternatives and supporting our health sciences students displaced by the COVID-19 crisis.

Final Thought

Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others - Booker T. Washington

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