News to Know for March 12: Nursing home visits; Biden signs relief bill; Vaccine registration overhaul

News to Know for March 12: Nursing home visits; Biden signs relief bill; Vaccine registration overhaul
Thousands of grandparents staying at nursing homes will be able to hug their loved ones for the first time without barriers in a year. (Source: Emily Wakeman)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a quick look at our top headlines before you start your day!

Few Showers Possible This Evening

Today will be mostly cloudy with a few showers in the afternoon and evening.

Not as windy. Highs around 70.

Forecast: One more day in the 70s before a cooler weekend

Car Struck By Train

According to the investigation, a 2006 Honda Odyssey was traveling east on Rockahock Road before turning south onto Outpost Road.

The vehicle was struck by a freight train traveling east.

Woman killed in train crash in New Kent County.
Woman killed in train crash in New Kent County. (Source: Virginia State Police)

Freda Pruitt, 55, of Lanexa Va., succumbed to her injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.

New Guidelines For Nursing Homes

Officials say moving forward, they recommend allowing indoor visits at nursing home facilities at all times, regardless of people’s vaccination status.

This means that thousands of grandparents staying at nursing homes will be able to hug their loved ones for the first time without barriers in a year.

Nursing homes can now allow in-person visitation, due to new CMS and CDC guidelines.
Nursing homes can now allow in-person visitation, due to new CMS and CDC guidelines. (Source: WVIR)

CMS officials recommend continuing to implement COVID-19 safety measures at nursing homes, which include sanitizing, physical distancing, and mask-wearing.

Outdoors visits are recommended whenever possible.

Vaccine Registration Site Overhaul

State health officials are weighing whether or not to ditch the current system being used. That’s because PrepMod has a flaw. People can share registration links, causing confusion and delays.

Recently, a new system called VASE was piloted to help schedule appointments for the first community vaccination clinics, which are scheduled to open next week.

For now, the VDH says it will continue to use PrepMod to register individuals on-site to ensure their information gets into the statewide system that tracks who has been vaccinated.

Crater Health District Vaccine Clinic

The Crater Health District will hold a second dose COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Virginia State University.

The clinic will be on March 13, and appointments for a second dose only.

vaccination
vaccination (Source: vaccination)

The clinic will provide a second dose for only those who received their first dose of the vaccine through the health district school point of dispensing.

Biden’s Primetime Address, Signs Relief Package

One year after the nation was brought to a near-standstill by the coronavirus, President Joe Biden pledged in his first prime-time address Thursday night to make all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1 and raised the possibility of beginning to “mark our independence from this virus” by the Fourth of July.

Biden touts COVID relief law
Biden touts COVID relief law

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden honored the “collective suffering” of Americans over the past year in his 24-minute address and then offered them a vision for a return to a modicum of normalcy this summer.

Biden signs COVID relief bill into law
Biden signs COVID relief bill into law

“We are bound together by the loss and the pain of the days that have gone by,” he said. “We are also bound together by the hope and the possibilities in the days in front of us.”

The speech came just hours after Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion relief package that he said will help defeat the virus, nurse the economy back to health and deliver direct aid to Americans struggling to make ends meet.

VEC Makes Changes

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) spokeswoman, Joyce Fogg said significant improvements have been made, especially with staffing for the call center.

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)

“We had 52 [employees] way back last March and we [now] have 677, but that includes our third-party vendors as well,” she added. Of that 677 number, only 187 are VEC employees.

As of last summer, there were roughly 70,000 outstanding issues the VEC was working on. That number is now at 1,500.

Chesterfield Proposed Budget

Chesterfield’s county administrator presented a proposed $806.8 million the fiscal year 2022 general fund budget to the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

The county plans to keep its real estate tax rate of 95 cents per $100 of assessed value, along with investing in its workforce, school system and other services.

The proposed budget also provides targeted tax relief for businesses and residents.

To view the full proposed budget, click here.

Busch Gardens Hiring

Busch Gardens and Water Country USA is looking to fill more than 700 positions during the 2021 season.

For a limited time, positions are coming with a hiring bonus starting at $100, and hourly wages starting as high as $12.

(Source: Olivia Ugino)

The part-time and seasonal positions that are available range from operations to foodservice.

Those who are interested can apply, here.

Final Thought

Turn your wounds into wisdom - Oprah Winfrey

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.