News to Know for Jan. 21: Inauguration recap; Vaccine in Va. update; Hanover creates vaccine call center

News to Know for Jan. 21: Inauguration recap; Vaccine in Va. update; Hanover creates vaccine call center
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool) (Source: AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a look at our top headlines, along with a recap of Inauguration Day.

Mild Weather, Partly Sunny

Seasonable weather shifts to a winter chill for the weekend.

Today will be partly sunny with highs in the low 50s.

Forecast: Mild weather next 2 days before a weekend chill

Joe Biden Becomes 46th President Of The U.S.

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” and summoning American resilience and unity to confront the deeply divided nation’s historic confluence of crises.

Denouncing a national “uncivil war,” Biden took the oath at a U.S. Capitol that had been battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks earlier.

President Joe Biden takes the oath of office at his inauguration on January 20, 2021.
President Joe Biden takes the oath of office at his inauguration on January 20, 2021. (Source: WVIR)

“The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious and democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden declared in his speech. “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.”

What’s Next In A New Era?

As the U.S. enters “what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” President Joe Biden is putting forth a national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that they be worn for travel.

Biden also will address inequities in hard-hit minority communities as he signs 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office.

Biden acknowledged the urgency of the mission in his inaugural address. “We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” he said before asking Americans to join him in a moment of silence in memory of the more than 400,000 people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19.

Construction on the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline halted Wednesday as incoming U.S. President Joe Biden decided to revoke its permit.

Biden’s Day One plans included moving to revoke a presidential permit for the pipeline.

Vaccine In Virginia Update

In Richmond, more than 6,700 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are in arms. It’s far short of where the health department wants to be and those in charge say it’s just going to take time to get to everyone.

“We know that the demand is great. The supply is unfortunately little, and it’s important to hope that that changes now,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Dealing with the COVID vaccine side effects
Dealing with the COVID vaccine side effects

Stoney held a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday afternoon. The health department hopes to get to the rest of phase 1B people by the end of this month.

Right now, the state is getting 110,000 doses each week of the vaccine The governor’s goal is to get 50,000 shots into arms on a daily basis by April 1.

Unemployment Benefits

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) says unemployment benefits are being paid out to Virginians who did not exhaust their weeks in 2020 through the CARES Act benefit programs, but there is still delay for other Virginians hoping to file future claims.

The hope is to have that system up and running by Jan. 29.

On Thursday the VEC held a news briefing to discuss the launch of a third federal unemployment benefit program
On Thursday the VEC held a news briefing to discuss the launch of a third federal unemployment benefit program (Source: NBC12)

The VEC also announced any Virginian who receives these federal and state benefits via check may experience a delay in getting those funds.

This is due to the Virginia Department of Treasury being closed since Saturday through Jan. 21. However, this closure will not impact those who receive payments through direct deposit or their Way2Go card.

Vaccination Call Center In Hanover

Hanover County has set up a call center to answer residents’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The call center is being done in coordination with the Chickahominy Health District, which includes Goochland, New Kent and Charles City.

The call center will be open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you leave a voicemail after business hours, those will be returned the next day.

The number for the call center is 804-365-3240.

Final Thought

“Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause” - President Joe Biden

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