News to Know for July 23: Tokyo Olympics preview; Gov. defends mask guidelines; Slightly humid day
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you head out the door.
Slightly Humid, Sunny Day
Mostly to partly sunny and slightly humid. Highs in the mid to upper 80s.
Tokyo Olympics Begins!
Disputed, locked down and running a year late, the Tokyo Games begin at last on Friday night, a multinational showcase of the finest athletes of a world fragmented by disease.
But with people still falling ill and dying each day from the coronavirus, there’s a particular urgency to the questions about whether the Olympic flame can burn away the fear or provide a measure of catharsis — and even awe — after a year of suffering and uncertainty in Japan and around the world.
The sports have already begun — softball and soccer, for example.
Tokyo Virus Cases Reach 2,000
Tokyo hit another six-month high in new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, one day before the Olympics begin, as worries grow of a worsening of infections during the Games.
Thursday’s 1,979 new cases are the highest since 2,044 were recorded on Jan. 15.
The Olympics, delayed for a year by the pandemic will begin today.
Spectators are banned from all venues in the Tokyo area, with limited audiences allowed at a few outlying sites.
George Mason Univ. Vaccines
George Mason University (GMU) announced all students and staff will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Students and staff must give their vaccination status to the university by August 1.
GMU says anyone who is not fully vaccinated by that date must get their first shot by August 15.
Students seeking a medical or religious exemption must do so by August 1.
Governor Defends Mask Guidelines
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is defending the state’s new guidelines for the upcoming school year. New guidelines offer suggestions on in-person learning but leave final decisions regarding masks and social distancing to local schools and health departments.
The governor says he’s not concerned about the potential patchwork of local policies regarding masks in schools.
“We are empowering the different localities across Virginia, i.e. the school districts, to follow our guidelines and also to follow the data,” Northam said.
In the City of Richmond, vaccine rates are showing slow growth. Forty-seven percent of the total population has at least one dose. It’s 58% in Henrico County and 55% in Chesterfield County.
Extended Programming At RPS
Richmond Public Schools announced it will provide free extended day programming for children in grades pre-K through the fifth grade.
The programming will be for the upcoming school year on Mondays through Fridays starting September 20.
The school district is strongly encouraging any student who may need extra help in literacy or math to participate.
Families will need to sign up by August 11. For more information, click here.
RPS Summer Fest
Richmond Public Schools is hosting a ‘Summer Fest’ over the weekend which will help families prepare for the first day of school.
Families can come out and learn about the fall reopening plans and how to enroll children in grades pre-K through 12th grade.
There will also be a playground, splash pad, arT stations, the Lit Limo and food trucks at the event.
The event will take place at MLK Jr. Middle School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 24.
Each day provides its own gifts - Marcus Aurelius
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.