News to Know for Dec. 22: Congress approves relief bill; VCU changes visitor policy; Utility relief assistance

News to Know for Dec. 22: Congress approves relief bill; VCU changes visitor policy; Utility relief assistance
The bill goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, which is expected in the coming days.

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

Mostly Sunny And Breezy

Sunny skies return for the next few days with seasonable temperatures, but heavy rain is expected for Christmas Eve.

Today will be mostly sunny and breezy. Lows in the mid 30s, highs in the upper 40s to near 50.

Sun returns next few days, with a wet Christmas Eve expected

Congress Passes Relief Package

Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief package Monday night that would finally deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Congress passes a long awaited COVID-19 Stimulus package.
Congress passes a long awaited COVID-19 Stimulus package. (Source: Colin Baillie)

Lawmakers tacked on a $1.4 trillion catchall spending bill and thousands of pages of other end-of-session business in a massive bundle of bipartisan legislation as Capitol Hill prepared to close the books on the year.

The bill goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, which is expected in the coming days.

VCU’s Visitor Policy

Starting on Tuesday, December 22, adult inpatients will be able to have visitors from 12-8 p.m.

Following Thanksgiving, the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has seen a “drastic increase” in patients being admitted with COVID-19.

Researchers reported a 123% increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses at the emergency room between March and June 2019 to the same period this year.
Researchers reported a 123% increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses at the emergency room between March and June 2019 to the same period this year. (Source: Capital News Service)

Health officials said coronavirus hospitalizations have surpassed, for the first time, the level experienced during the last peak in Virginia.

The hospital also asks that patients limit their one visitor a day to the same person for the duration of their stay.

Lee Statue Removed

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol.

A representative from the governor’s office was present for the removal, along with United States Senator Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton.

The Lee statue was removed from the U.S. Capitol overnight.
The Lee statue was removed from the U.S. Capitol overnight. (Source: Office of the Governor)

The Lee statue had been one among 13 located in the Crypt of the Capitol, representing the 13 original colonies.

Richmond Utility Assistance

Right now, the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities is accepting applications for relief assistance.

This program will provide a one-time payment per household or business.

The James River and downtown Richmond.
The James River and downtown Richmond. (Source: Pixabay)

This assistance is in addition to the moratorium suspending disconnections, which is still in effect.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 17. For more information, click here.

Colonial Downs Donates $100k

Colonial Downs has donated $100,000 to Senior Connections to help Richmond seniors pay off delinquent gas and water bills.

“They will get these funds to the individuals who need them the most, and we could not be prouder of this partnership in service of our fellow Virginians,” Chief Operating Officer Aaron Gomes said in a release.

Colonial Downs has donated $100,000 to Senior Connections to help Richmond seniors pay off delinquent gas and water bills.
Colonial Downs has donated $100,000 to Senior Connections to help Richmond seniors pay off delinquent gas and water bills. (Source: NBC12)

Through ‘Rosie’s Gives Back’ - Colonial Downs charitable giving program - more than $630,000 has been given in donations.

Final Thought

Life is a question and how we live it is our answer - Gary Keller

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