Road to Recovery: Here’s what you need to know as Virginia moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Road to Recovery: Here’s what you need to know as Virginia moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States and Virginia, here is what you should know going forward about the state’s road to recovery. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States and Virginia, here is what you should know going forward about the state’s road to recovery.

What are the numbers?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 126,926 total positive coronavirus tests throughout the state Sunday - a 1,199 case increase since Saturday.

The state totals stand at 2,678 deaths with 9,881 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

A total of 1,796,977 people have now been tested. And the positivity rate, which is supposed to determine the pace of reopening, is 7.8 percent. At the peak of the pandemic, that figure was more than 20 percent.

What restrictions are in place?

Virginia is in Phase Three of reopening, which means gatherings are limited to 250 people, restaurants and entertainment venues have indoor capacity restrictions and an indoor mask mandate remains in place. However, due to the high positivity rate of cases in the Hampton Roads area - Gov. Ralph Northam has put mitigation efforts in place, including:

  • No alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
  • All restaurants must close by midnight
  • Indoor dining is limited to 50% - this includes breweries, distilleries, wineries and food courts
  • Bans gatherings (indoor and outdoor) of 50 or more people

For a complete look at Phase Three reopening guidelines, CLICK HERE.

How is testing?

Virginia will join several other states in an agreement to expand rapid COVID-19 testing, according to an announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday.

Multiple states will enter formal discussions to purchase 500,000 rapid tests per state. The tests, made by U.S. manufacturers Becton Dickinson and Quidel, have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration and deliver results in 15-20 minutes.

Northam said without a viable vaccine, he expects the commonwealth to continue dealing with COVID-19 for the next several months unless states begin working together to find other means of fighting the virus.

What are the schools doing?

Some of the largest school systems in Central Virginia have opted to return to learning virtually while others around the region will be offering a hybrid option of in-person and virtual.

School systems offering virtual starts:

  • Chesterfield
  • Henrico
  • Richmond
  • Petersburg
  • Hopewell
  • Caroline
  • Brunswick
  • Dinwiddie

Schools offering in-person/virtual starts:

  • Amelia
  • Colonial Heights
  • Hanover
  • Prince George
  • Powhatan

For a more in-depth breakdown of how each public school system is returning to learning, CLICK HERE.

What are colleges and universities doing?

Colleges and universities are also instituting changes as students get back to learning this fall. Many higher education institutions around Central Virginia are requiring students to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus, along with offering a mix of online and in-person classes.

What about sports?

High school sports in public schools will not start in the fall, but all three athletic seasons are scheduled to happen. The Virginia High School League voted delay the start of activities until mid-December, then each season holding an abbreviated schedule. You can find more on that, HERE.

When it comes to college sports, each division in handling the situation differently, you can keep up with the latest on college sports - HERE.

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