News to Know for May 7: Cement spill causes road closure; Venues plans to reopen; Phase one in Virginia; Inmates at prison retested; Relief fund for small businesses; Pleasant Day, mostly sunny

News to Know for May 7: Cement spill causes road closure; Venues plans to reopen; Phase one in Virginia; Inmates at prison retested; Relief fund for small businesses; Pleasant Day, mostly sunny
President Donald Trump revised the projected coronavirus death toll in the U.S.

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

Pleasant Day Before Rain on Friday

Pleasant but cool weather Thursday before Rain arrives Friday.

Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s.

A pleasant Thursday followed by Friday rain and a weekend chill

Cement Spill

A cement spill has closed Williamsburg Road near Laburnum Avenue. If possible, drivers should avoid the area.

The cement spill occurred on Williamsburg Road (Route 60) westbound between Oakleys Lane and Laburnum Avenue.

Cleanup crews are en route to the scene.

It is unknown how long the cleanup will take.

Reopening the U.S.

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 3.6 million people and killed over a quarter-million, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, which experts agree understates the dimensions of the pandemic because of limited testing, differences in counting the dead and concealment by some governments.

Public health officials in the U.S. say they are worried as about half of states ease their shutdowns, with cellphone data showing that people are becoming restless and increasingly leaving home.

Over the past two weeks, 19 states saw an overall increase in reported coronavirus cases, 13 saw them drop and 18 held steady, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Over the past two weeks, 19 states saw an overall increase in reported coronavirus cases, 13 saw them drop and 18 held steady, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Many states have not put in place the robust testing that experts believe is necessary to detect and contain new outbreaks. And many governors have pressed ahead with reopening before their states have met one of the key benchmarks in the administration's guidelines for reopening — a 14-day downward trajectory in new infections.

"If we relax these measures without having the proper public health safeguards in place, we can expect many more cases and, unfortunately, more deaths," said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington.

Newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. exceed 20,000, and deaths per day are running well over 1,000.

Entertainment Venues Reopening

While Virginia restaurants, gyms, and even churches can begin to move ahead with plans to reopen as early as next week, don’t expect to go to your favorite entertainment venue anytime soon.

Theatres, bowling alleys and concerts are still banned under the governor’s orders. In fact, social events are the last on the list to reopen. That continues to have a big impact on business.

(Source: Pixabay)

Right now some movie theatres across the country are reaching out to investors to avoid bankruptcy. In Central Virginia, people were already buying tickets for a popular outdoor concert venue before coronavirus hit. Now plans and expectations are uncertain.

The Commonwealth will open in phases with the first phase kicking off next week. That’s for restaurants and churches but entertainment venues are considered phase three, and we may very well be months away from that.

Governor Northam’s Phase One

Friday is when we will learn the fine print about what Virginia’s phase one of reopening will look like.

Virginia is set to ease restrictions on some non-essential businesses May 15. The announcement will give business owners about a week to figure things out and get ready for customers.

Gov. Ralph Northam holding a press briefing in Richmond
Gov. Ralph Northam holding a press briefing in Richmond (Source: WVIR)

During the anticipated briefing, Governor Ralph Northam will present a big picture overview of the guidelines, but also specifics for a variety of sectors looking to reopen. But the fine print on business regulations is still being worked on.

Northam also under phase one: each locality can have stricter restrictions, if needed, based on circumstances. But the governor has the final say.

Inmates Retested After Mixup

Three-hundred inmates at Buckingham Correctional Center are being retested for COVID-19 after their tests were “mistakenly shipped” to another correctional facility.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Corrections said on April 27, the tests were delivered to a commercial lab, Genetworx, that “then apparently mistakenly shipped the samples to Bland Correctional Center rather than running tests on the samples.”

COVID-19 testing
COVID-19 testing (Source: Pixabay)

The test samples were too old to be used when staff at Bland Correctional Center found them on May 4. They were then disposed of by the staff at the facility, as is required.

The inmates at Buckingham Correctional Center are being retested Wednesday and Thursday.

Small Businesses Relief

ChamberRVA announced a relief fund for small businesses in the Richmond region impacted by COVID-19.

The RVA Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants to qualifying businesses to help with rent, employee salaries and similar operating costs as a stop-gap relief pending aid from the state and the federal government.

RVA Small Businesses Relief Fund
RVA Small Businesses Relief Fund (Source: ChamberRVA)

The fund is a partnership between ChamberRVA and Facebook, which contributed $250,000 to seed this first round of funding.

Applications will be open Wednesday, May 13 at 9 a.m. and will close on Tuesday, May 19 at 5 p.m.

For more information and eligibility criteria, click here.

Nordstrom In Short Pump Closes Permanently

Nordstrom announced on Tuesday that it will be permanently closing 16 full-line stores across the country.

While the company did not specify which stores would be closing, Women’s Wear Daily is reporting that many high-profile locations will be closing, including the location in Short Pump.

(Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The other high-profile locations Women’s Wear Daily is reporting to be closing are in Florida, Colorado and Connecticut.

Nordstrom operates currently operates 378 stores in 40 states, including 116 full-line stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Girl Scouts Donates To FeedMore

The cookies were delivered from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to FeedMore at 1415 Rhoadmiller Street in Richmond.

Girl Scouts of Virginia will be donating 12,000 boxes of girl scout cookies to FeedMore.
Girl Scouts of Virginia will be donating 12,000 boxes of girl scout cookies to FeedMore. (Source: NBC12)

The cookies were originally supposed to be sold at cookie booths throughout central Virginia, but COVID-19 and social distancing measures disrupted the Girl Scout Cookie season.

Dunmar Moving Systems is helping out by transporting 1,000 cases of the cookies to FeedMore.

Final Thought

Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle - Anonymous

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