News to Know for Dec. 21: COVID-19 relief bill sealed; Moderna vaccine shipped; Jupiter, Saturn will be visible

News to Know for Dec. 21: COVID-19 relief bill sealed; Moderna vaccine shipped; Jupiter, Saturn will be visible
First Moderna COVID-19 vaccine batch in transit.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a glimpse at our top headlines before you head out the door.

Dense Fog This Morning

Dry weather returns today and sticks around for a few days, but Christmas Eve looks wet and windy as an arctic front passes.

First Alert: Expect dense fog for the Monday morning commute. Allow extra time, take it slow, and use caution!

Today will be mostly cloudy in the morning with more sun in the afternoon. Lows mid 30s, highs mid 40s.

Patchy dense fog gives way to partly sunny skies

Congress Agrees On Relief Bill

Top Capitol Hill negotiators sealed a deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package, finally delivering long-overdue help to businesses and individuals and providing money to deliver vaccines to a nation eager for them.

The package, expected to draw votes in Congress on Monday, would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.

According to sources close to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, the Senate majority leader says it would be logistically hard to get a bill done prior to Election Day due to legislative hurdles.
According to sources close to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, the Senate majority leader says it would be logistically hard to get a bill done prior to Election Day due to legislative hurdles.

Biden praised the bipartisan spirit that produced the measure, which he called “just the beginning.”

Moderna Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech already is being distributed, and regulators last week gave approval to the one from Moderna Inc. that began shipping Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said health care workers and nursing home residents — about 24 million people — should be at the very front of the line for the vaccines.

The essential workers include firefighters and police; teachers and school staff; those working in food, agricultural and manufacturing sectors; corrections workers; U.S. Postal Service employees; public transit workers; and grocery store workers.

They are considered at very high risk of infection because their jobs are critical and require them to be in regular contact with other people.

Chesterfield Courts Closed

Court cases scheduled in Chesterfield this week will be rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court will close this week and reopen on Dec. 28, per a release from the county.

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All previously scheduled dockets set for this week are canceled and will be rescheduled.

Beacon Theatre Court Trials

Virginia’s highest court is allowing circuit courts for three counties to hold jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic in a theater that typically hosts music concerts.

The city of Hopewell owns and operates the theater and has opened it for shows at 30% capacity during the pandemic.

Court officials held a mock trial at the theater in August to test its suitability.

Want To See Jupiter And Saturn?!

Some people are calling it a “Christmas Star.”

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear as close to each other as they have in 800 years.

The heavenly meeting of the two biggest worlds in our solar system is an extremely close one.
The heavenly meeting of the two biggest worlds in our solar system is an extremely close one. (Source: NASA)

It may look like a “Christmas Star,” but it’s more accurately described as the “Winter Solstice of two planets.”

You can track the show over the next few nights by looking in the southwestern sky just after sunset. Find a clear spot and look low on the horizon.

Final Thought

“The unexamined life is not worth living” — Socrates

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