News to Know for April 21: WHO’s warning on reopening too soon; Kim Jong Un’s health; Low-income testing begins today; Strong storms possible

News to Know for April 21: WHO’s warning on reopening too soon; Kim Jong Un’s health; Low-income testing begins today; Strong storms possible
Coronavirus (Source: pixabay)

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

First Alert Weather Day For Strong Storms

First Alert Weather Day Tuesday for a few severe storms possible mid-afternoon.

First Alert Weather Day for Tuesday afternoon with marginal severe storm risk for a few isolated storms with strong gusts and hail possible.

Warm and breezy with a few strong storms possible

Widespread storms are not expected and risk will be isolated and mainly eastern Virginia

Best time for central Virginia 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Steakhouse Fire

Brian’s Steakhouse located in Mecklenburg County caught on fire Tuesday morning.

Fire crews responded to Brian’s Steakhouse located at 625 East Atlantic Street for the report of a structure fire.

Brian’s Steakhouse located in Mecklenburg County caught on fire Tuesday morning.
Brian’s Steakhouse located in Mecklenburg County caught on fire Tuesday morning. (Source: pixabay)

Upon arriving, crews noticed heavy fire coming through the roof.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to be handling state affairs, as usual, South Korea’s government said Tuesday after unconfirmed rumors described him as in fragile condition after surgery.

The presidential Blue House said no unusual activity has been detected in North Korea and it had no information about the rumors on Kim’s health.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the country's politburo on Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the capital of Pyongjang. The politburo is an annual meeting where major policy direction and a yearly budget are decided.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the country's politburo on Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the capital of Pyongjang. The politburo is an annual meeting where major policy direction and a yearly budget are decided. (Source: KCNA/CNN)

Speculation often surfaces about North Korea’s leadership based on attendance at important state events.

Kim, who is in his mid-30s, missed the celebration of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, the country’s most important holiday.

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.

WHO’s Warning

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that rushing to ease coronavirus restrictions will likely lead to a resurgence of the illness, a warning that comes as governments start rolling out plans to get their economies up and running again.

Despite concerns from health officials, some U.S. states on Monday announced aggressive reopening plans, while Boeing and at least one other U.S. heavy-equipment manufacturer resumed production.

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

Elsewhere around the world, step-by-step reopenings were underway in Europe, where the crisis has begun to ebb in places such as Italy, Spain and Germany.

The reopenings come as politicians grow weary of soaring unemployment numbers and the prospect of economic depression.

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.

Low-Income Testing Begins Today

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will be offering free COVID-19 testing this week to residents in the Woodman West and Henrico Arms neighborhoods.

Health officials said if you live near these neighborhoods and are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough or a fever, call the Health District hotline at 804-205-3501 for more information.

Other free COVID-19 testing is being offered to those who may not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover COVID-19.

There's an effort underway to bring drive thru coronavirus testing to the areas that need it the most in Shreveport and Caddo Parish.
There's an effort underway to bring drive thru coronavirus testing to the areas that need it the most in Shreveport and Caddo Parish. (Source: KSLA)

The purpose of the testing is to provide access to testing in vulnerable communities where residents may not have access.

Locations are not being disclosed to enable an orderly and efficient testing operation.

Gov. Northam Increasing State Testing

Virginia’s former health commissioner will lead a new workgroup focusing specifically on COVID-19 testing in the state.

Governor Ralph Northam made the announcement Monday during a coronavirus briefing in Richmond. Northam said as of Monday, the state does not have the testing materials to even consider phase one of lifting restrictions.

Governor Ralph Northam begins a coronavirus briefing.
Governor Ralph Northam begins a coronavirus briefing. (Source: WVIR)

But the state is slowly increasing testing capabilities. Northam said that’s in part thanks to private and university labs stepping up. The state lab will also increase testing capacity per day thanks to new equipment from Altria. Northam said the key to lifting restrictions is to make sure the state has the testing capacity.

The state is expected to see its virus peak later this week.

Earth Week In RVA

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has declared April 20-24 Earth Week in Richmond.

Earth Day falls on April 22 and it will be the 50th year for its celebration.

The James River and downtown Richmond.
The James River and downtown Richmond. (Source: pixabay)

Stoney will be hosting a Facebook Live on Wednesday at noon, along with RVA Green 2050, which is a state-of-the-art equity-centered, climate action and resilience planning process to accelerate efforts on community-wide decarbonization and resilience.

The Facebook discussion will center around equity, resilience and sustainability in the face of crises like COVID-19 and climate change.

Final Thought

Earth was created for all of us, not some of us - Anthony Douglas Williams

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