News to Know for Aug. 17: COVID-19 booster shots; RPS mandates vaccines; Another rainy day possible
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines as you head out the door!
Humid with storms possible
The humidity is here to stay, and we could see isolated showers and storms. Lows in the 70s, highs in the upper 80s.
Tomorrow, however, we’ll see remnants of Tropical Storm Fred pass to our west. At this time, there’s low concern for severe weather, but storms are likely.
COVID-19 booster shots
President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to advise that most Americans get COVID-19 booster shots eight months after getting full vaccinated — according to two people familiar with the discussions.
The plan would involve administering third shots beginning in September. That’s if it’s authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Health care workers and nursing home patients were first to receive their shots, so the administration expects they’ll be first to receive boosters. Older populations would likely be next.
Northam: ‘Virginia will continue to serve as safe harbor.’
Just last week, hundreds of Afghan citizens and families arrived in Fort Lee, Virginia, as part of the Operation Allies Refuge. The effort evacuated former interpreters and others who feared retaliation from Afghanistan’s Taliban after working with American troops.
“I’m coordinating with DC and have made it clear: we’re ready and willing to take thousands more,” Northam said on Twitter. “Virginia will continue to serve as safe harbor.”
Vaccine mandate for RPS employees
Richmond Public Schools is now the first district in the Greater Richmond area to require teachers and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Teachers are set to get an email today detailing how to prove they’ve been vaccinated. If they don’t get the shot, or prove a medical or religious exemption, they could face disciplinary action.
The decision comes as more than 50 RPS students are in quarantine. Patrick Henry Elementary School had an outbreak during summer school, and school leaders are hoping the mandate will prevent mass quarantines when the school year begins.
Moving forward with George Wythe
In order to meet the Aug. 31 deadline for seeking bids from construction companies, the Richmond Public School Board had to sign off on a few things during Monday night’s meeting.
There were some disagreements over capacity limits, some arguing the new school design would not be able to hold enough students. Ultimately, the board voted to move forward with current plans.
The capacity limit will be 1,600 students with a health clinic inside. The district is in the process of interviewing candidates for building construction and procurement positions.
Bus driver shortages
As families in Chesterfield prepare for the return to school, several school districts are dealing with a bus driver shortage.
In Chesterfield, school leaders are asking families to help by driving their kids to school.
Nearby, Hanover has around 30 bus driver vacancies. Henrico County needs more than 100 drivers.
Henrico’s back-to-school kickoff
Henrico County Public Schools will hold a back-to-school information fair on Friday at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center.
From 4 to 8 p.m., there will be children’s activities, interactive games, onsite school registration and more.
Check your smoke alarms, firefighters say
The Richmond Fire Department and Chesterfield Fire and EMS are urging people to check their smoke alarms and prepare a fire escape plan.
This comes as six people lost their lives in three house fires in Richmond and Chesterfield within one week.
Richmond Fire Marshal Earl Dyer said it’s important for you to install smoke alarms in your home.
He says you should test the detectors at least once a month, and replace the batteries twice a year.
Chesterfield Little League advances
The Chesterfield Little League softball team is continuing to make Virginia proud.
The girls took down Robbinsville, New Jersey, and are advancing to the semifinals.
The final score last night: 1-0 in the first elimination game.
They now take on Texas in the semi-finals today at 7 p.m. Catch the action on ESPN2.
Releasing bald eagles
The Wildlife Center of Virginia is set to release a bald eagle this morning in Charles City County. The first release is at 11 a.m. at Berkeley Plantation.
The next release is scheduled for Thursday in Augusta County and then another one is scheduled on Friday in Richmond County.
Learn more at this link.
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