News to Know for May 27: Masks soon required; Richmond’s delay request denied; Rocket launch today; More rain coming

News to Know for May 27

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Do you have a mask? You only have a few more days to get one before they are required in public. Here’s a look at that and more to get your day started.

More Rain Coming

Rain chances increase the next few days with several rounds of showers and thunderstorms likely through Saturday.

Shower and storm chances go up next several days

Mask Mandate

Starting Friday, you will be required to wear a mask in the commonwealth while inside a public building. It applies to anyone over the age of 10 unless you’re eating, drinking, exercising or have a health/breathing condition.

Enforcement comes down to business owners whose permit or licenses to operate could be on the line. Read full details of the executive order here.

What About the Governor?

Northam also addressed the fallout over his failure to wear a mask on the Virginia Beach oceanfront this weekend.

The governor took ownership of the mistake saying he left his mask in the car before meeting with public officials and taking pictures with the public.

Rewatch the governor’s press conference here.

Richmond Joins Phase One Friday

Despite a request from Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney for a modified version, the city will enter phase one of the commonwealth’s reopening plan Friday. Governor Northam denied the request yesterday.

Another GRTC Case

A sixth GRTC employee has tested positive for coronavirus. The bus operator hasn’t been at work since May 18.

While it’s believed the driver did not contract the illness while on duty, you should still wear a mask while taking public transportation - and starting Friday, you’ll have to.

State COVID-19 Cases

Cases in Virginia are now nearing 40,000 and more than 1,200 people have died. Of the deaths, 708 have been at long-term care facilities and six have been at correctional facilities.

The total number of positive cases within the state’s prisons has surpassed 1,000. The biggest outbreak is at the Dillwyn Correctional Center in Buckingham County where 322 inmates have it.

What’s the Good News?

But the percent positivity that the governor often refers to continues to slowly decrease, which is a good thing.

On top of that, more than 5,200 people have been discharged following hospitalization for coronavirus. The state also reports that it currently has 4,516 beds available with only 21 percent of its ventilators in use.

Few Are Flying

Richmond International Airport reported a massive 96.4% decrease in air travel for the month of April.

Just over 13,000 people boarded an outgoing flight this year, compared to more than 372,000 last year.

To Infinity and Beyond

Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are set to make history this afternoon, riding SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station - the nation’s first astronaut launch to orbit in nearly a decade.

If SpaceX does not launch during Wednesday’s split-second window, the next try would be Saturday. Liftoff is set for 4:33 p.m. EDT. Watch it live on our website and Facebook page.

Virginia Strong

Today is your LAST CHANCE to buy a “Virginia Strong” t-shirt to benefit the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund.

NBC12 is selling “Virginia Strong” t-shirts to benefit the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund.
NBC12 is selling “Virginia Strong” t-shirts to benefit the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund. (Source: NBC12)

Thanks to YOU, the shirts have raised more than $12,000 for the community! Get yours here.

Final Thought

“Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.” – Christa McAuliffe

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