News to Know for Aug. 20: Hopewell schools’ closed; Hospitals divert patients; Cloudy, scattered showers
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Before you head out the door this morning, bring your umbrella!
Scattered Afternoon/Evening Showers
A flash flood watch is in effect today for potential downpours on a cloudy, humid, and not hot Friday in August.
Today will be HUMID and cloudy with early morning rain. Then Mainly cloudy with scattered afternoon showers and storms into the afternoon and evening. Localized 3″+ rain possible.
High in upper 70s.
Two Kids In Central Va. Die Of COVID
The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed the deaths of two children in Central Virginia due to COVID-19.
The child who died in the Chesterfield Health District was between 10 and 19 years old.
Health officials said the child who died in the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts was between the ages 0 and 9.
Health officials said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be the best way to protect the most vulnerable, including children too young to get vaccinated.
Hopewell Schools’ Closed
Hopewell Schools will be closed on Friday to students due to “critical staffing shortages” across all the schools.
Both in-person and virtual instruction is canceled for Aug. 20. It will still be a workday for staff, who should report at the regular time.
Any family wanting a student meal Friday should call the school office by 10 a.m. It will be available for pick-up between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Bus Driver Shortage
Virginia’s governor is weighing in on bus driver shortages as 19 school systems across the Commonwealth receive grants to purchase cleaner modes of transportation for students.
During an event on Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced more than $10.5 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, will be used to purchase 83 new electric and propane buses.
School systems across Central Virginia have more than 200 bus driver vacancies, a vast majority of them in Chesterfield and Henrico counties.
Chesterfield and Henrico County Public Schools have around 100 vacancies each.
Hospitals Divert Patients
Some Central Virginia hospitals are having to divert patients due to a spike in COVID-19 patients.
Old Dominion EMS Alliance said its service area has been placed on Stage 3- “BLACK” Diversion Status. ODEMSA said, “this means at minimum 8 of the 26 hospitals in the ODEMSA region have reported diversions based upon their internal guidelines.”
In a true emergency, patients will be taken to the nearest hospital. No hospitals are closed to new patients.
More information about the diversion status can be found, here.
Masks At U Of R
Masks are mandatory inside all buildings across the University of Richmond’s campus. The new rule lasts through Sept. 12.
All students and employees are required to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status.
University officials say that the campus community’s vaccination rates are high, but the surrounding community has lower rates.
Classes start on Aug. 23.
Back-To-School Event Postponed
Henrico County Public Schools has postponed its back-to-school event that was scheduled on Aug. 20.
Due to soggy ground conditions and more rain expected, the event will now be on Friday, Aug. 27 at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center from 4-8 p.m.
This will include children’s activities, interactive games, onsite school registration and more.
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