News to Know for April 30: Elective surgeries, dental procedures resume; GRTC driver tests positive; Virtual meeting in Petersburg hacked; Heavy rain, strong thunderstorms

News to Know for April 30: Elective surgeries, dental procedures resume; GRTC driver tests positive; Virtual meeting in Petersburg hacked; Heavy rain, strong thunderstorms
Elective surgeries and a visit to the dentist can resume Friday. (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 Thunderstorms

SOAKING 2″ of rain likely. Could be more in spots EAST of I-95.

FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY for heavy rain.

Flood Watch in effect during the morning and afternoon for 2″ of rain.

First Alert Weather Day for 2” of rain plus possible strong thunderstorms

A few strong storms can’t be ruled out. SW wind 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph.

Lows in the upper 50s, highs in the low 70s.

Tractor-Trailer Accident In Goochland

All eastbound lanes near mile-marker 150 are closed on I-64 in Goochland County after a tractor-trailer accident occurred.

The accident occurred after a tree fell across the road, causing the driver of the tractor-trailer to crash into the tree. The driver was not injured.

Traffic is being directed onto the right shoulder.

All eastbound lanes near mile-marker 150 are closed on I-64 in Goochland County after a tractor-trailer accident occurred.
All eastbound lanes near mile-marker 150 are closed on I-64 in Goochland County after a tractor-trailer accident occurred. (Source: nbc12)

Drivers should expect delays.

VDOT and Virginia State Police are on the scene working to get the road cleared.

Easing Lockdowns

The world’s economic pain was on full display Thursday as Europe and the United States were releasing more figures showing the devastating impact on jobs and companies of lockdown measures designed to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The promise of an effective treatment against the coronavirus — an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients — raised hopes Thursday for faster progress in battling the pandemic and restoring wrecked economies and livelihoods.

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

The U.S. government and others say they are working to make the medication available to patients as quickly as possible. News of the medical advance lifted world markets, outshining gloomy economic data showing the U.S. economy contracted nearly 5% in January-March in the worst downturn since the Great Recession.

California-based biotech company Gilead Sciences and the U.S. government reported in a major study run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health that the drug Remdesivir shortened the time it takes for COVID-19 patients to recover by four days on average — from 15 days to 11.

The study, involving 1,063 coronavirus patients around the world, also showed a trend toward fewer deaths among those on the drug, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious diseases expert.

Elective Surgeries and Dental Procedures To Resume

Elective surgeries and a visit to the dentist can resume Friday.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said the state is ready to get those businesses back up and running. Starting May 1, a ban on elective surgeries in the state and limitations on dentists will be lifted.

With personal protective equipment shortage fears over, medical and dental offices across the commonwealth are preparing for patients at the end of the week.

(Source: Alayna Chapie/KFVS)

But there are major changes to how those types of non-emergency medical procedures are carried out. Virginia Commonwealth University and other facilities say all patients undergoing surgery will be tested for COVID-19. VCU said in a statement after the announcement, “We are ready to serve you safely.”

You can also expect to wear a face mask during the visit, staggered appointments and changes to the waiting areas at these facilities.

GRTC Driver Has COVID-19

GRTC says a bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19, making this the second employee to test positive at GRTC.

GRTC says the employee contracted the virus through an unknown source, but the driver has reported only mild symptoms so far.

Officials said the employee has not been in any facility or vehicle since Monday.

GRTC employees have the option of being tested at the Virginia Center Commons site in Henrico County as part of a regional partnership established with the County Emergency Management.

Ways To Manage Student Loans

Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that Virginia has secured relief options for 200,000 Virginians with privately held student loans.

The relief is part of a new initiative by Virginia and several other states working with major private student loan servicers.

(Source: Jenny Kane)

The relief options include:

  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance
  • Waiving late payment fees
  • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment

Officials encourage borrowers to reach out to their student loan lenders.

Gilpin Court Testing Moved

Three Richmond officials gave an update on coronavirus as cases surpassed 250 in the city Thursday. The testing in Gilpin Court has been changed due to the inclement weather on Thursday.

Testing for residents in Gilpin Court have been moved to the Gilpin Court Resource Center on 436 Calhoun Street due to inclement weather.

Mayor Stoney said he has written a letter to Governor Ralph Northam to expand help for low-income individuals.

Virtual Meeting In Petersburg Hacked

A Petersburg virtual council meeting was interrupted after a man hacked into the video conference and exposed himself.

City leaders were discussing water bills Tuesday afternoon when the man decided to join in - citing sexual innuendos and fondling himself.

The meeting picked up about 45 minutes later, but by phone instead of video.

City leaders have asked the FBI to investigate.

New Publix Opening In Chesterfield

The grand opening for a new Publix in Chesterfield County has been set for June.

The new supermarket will be located at 200 Charter Colony Parkway in Midlothian.

Publix is donating produce and milk to food banks.
Publix is donating produce and milk to food banks.

The grand opening for the store is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 at 7 a.m.

The store will be an addition to several around the Richmond area.

Final Thought

A quitter never wins. A winner never quits - Napoleon Hill

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