News to Know for April 20: Guidelines for states’ to reopen; Over 8,500 COVID-19 cases in Va.; Low-income community testing; Rain all week-long

News to Know for April 20: Guidelines for states’ to reopen; Over 8,500 COVID-19 cases in Va.; Low-income community testing; Rain all week-long
Pop-up testing stations should be opening up at several low income neighborhoods in the Richmond and Henrico area this week. (Source: pixabay)

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

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

Rain returns Monday with below-average through most of the week.

Rain likely, especially during the morning and afternoon. Highs in the low 60s.

Rain likely Monday, then again end of week

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.

Should Some States Reopen?

The Trump administration has issued new guidelines for states, individuals and employers on how to gradually revive activity and ease up on social distancing in areas where coronavirus cases are on the decline.

The guidelines, distributed to governors Thursday, are published under the headline “Opening Up America Again.”

They follow concerns voiced by President Donald Trump about the need to get more people back to work and to shopping as millions of Americans lose their jobs.

The guidelines include three phrases.

Trump Close To Deal On Aid Package

The Trump administration and Congress are nearing an agreement on an aid package of up to $450 billion to boost a small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.

President Donald Trump said Sunday, “We're getting close to a deal.”

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Along with the small business boost, Trump said the negotiators were looking at "helping our hospitals," particularly hard-hit rural health care providers.

A deal could be announced Monday, the president said at a White House briefing.

COVID-19 In Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 8,537 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 277 deaths and 1,422 hospitalizations throughout the state Sunday.

So far, 54,733 Virginians have now been tested for the virus.

Central VA Case Highlights:

  • Henrico: 584
  • Chesterfield: 311
  • Richmond: 231
  • Hanover: 84
  • Goochland: 55
  • Petersburg: 21

The numbers reported by the Virginia Health Department are only updated once a day.

Discovery Village Deaths

Two residents at the Discovery Village At West End, an Independent Living community for seniors in Henrico, died from coronavirus.

“Given the close relationships between our community team members and our residents, it saddens us greatly that our friends and neighbors have passed away and we send our deepest condolences to their families," the facility said in a statement Sunday.

COVID-19 coverage
COVID-19 coverage (Source: WAFF)

The facility says it currently has positive cases of COVID-19 affecting residents and a few team members but did not disclose a number. They say all are self-quarantined.

Cedarfield Retirement Positive Case

Saturday morning, Cedarfield Retirement received notice from the Virginia Department of Health that one of its Health Care residents has tested positive for COVID-19.

The resident has been isolated in their health care center room for several days and is now under quarantine.

The Cedarfield healthcare team has been in contact with the Virginia Department of Health’s Henrico Health District (VDH). Working within guidelines set forth by the CDC, the resident was tested for COVID-19 when they began experiencing symptoms.

Cedarfield is working closely with VDH to limit exposure to other residents, team members, and families.

Testing In Low-Income Communities

Coronavirus testing is coming to low-income communities in Richmond.

While not wide-spread, the move will help the city hall and the local health department get a better idea of how vast the virus problem really is.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond/Henrico Health Districts director Dr. Danny Avula give Tuesday update on city's COVID-19 response.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond/Henrico Health Districts director Dr. Danny Avula give Tuesday update on city's COVID-19 response. (Source: NBC12)

Mayor Levar Stoney and the local health department will roll out testing next week into low-income communities and communities of color.

“If you do contract it if you are black and brown and you have other underlying conditions, it could lead to your death," said Stoney.

Rally To Reopen Virginia

Three newly formed groups came together Thursday morning to protest Virginia’s stay-at-home order and executive order closing non-essential businesses.

There’s growing frustration over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order closing non-essential businesses until May 8.

Three newly formed groups came together Thursday morning to protest Virginia’s stay-at-home order and executive order closing non-essential businesses.
Three newly formed groups came together Thursday morning to protest Virginia’s stay-at-home order and executive order closing non-essential businesses. (Source: nbc12)

About 30 people, including families, gathered inside Capitol Square near the Governor’s Mansion.

Another “Reopen Virginia” rally is scheduled for this weekend at the Capitol at 11:00 a.m.

Over 1,200 People Discharged From Hospitals

New state data will record the number of people who have been discharged from a hospital after testing positive for coronavirus - the first glimpse at how many people are recovering from the virus in the state.

As of Sunday, April 19, 1,267 people have been discharged following hospitalization for coronavirus. The state also reports that it currently has just over 5,853 beds available with only 21 percent of its ventilators in use.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise throughout Virginia, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) is also keeping track of the state’s hospital bed and ventilator availability.

Virtual Town Hall

NBC12 will be hosting a virtual town hall with Governor Ralph Northam, Mayor Levar Stoney and Dr. Danny Avula.

If you have any questions or concerns to ask, go to the NBC12 Facebook page to submit your questions.

Our town hall will be today at 5 p.m. with NBC12′s Rachel Depompa.

Final Thought

It might be stormy now, but rain doesn’t last forever - Anonymous

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