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News to Know for Aug. 24: Hopewell schools requiring vaccines, testing; VCU semester begins; Lots of sunshine

Hopewell teachers, staff must get vaccinated or get weekly COVID tests
Hopewell teachers, staff must get vaccinated or get weekly COVID tests
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 6:37 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you head out the door!

Lots of sunshine

Today is looking hot and humid with highs in the low 90s. Lots of sunshine with little to no rain in sight!

Hopewell unveils vaccine, testing requirement

Hopewell’s school board is now requiring employees to get vaccinated or get tested weekly.

Those who haven’t been vaccinated yet should do so by Sept. 6 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 4. Teachers and staff can also submit weekly lab results that show they are COVID-free.

Since school started a month ago, there have been 85 COVID-19 cases in the school district.

Pfizer fully approved

Nine months after the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has given full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and older.

Full approval opens the door for lawmakers, businesses and schools to issue vaccine mandates.

Moderna has also applied to the FDA for full approval of its vaccine. Johnson & Johnson said it hopes to do so later this year.

7,000 cases over weekend

Between Friday and Monday, more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in Virginia. Nearly 2,000 cases were reported yesterday alone.

That’s caused the positivity rate to increase: 9.1% on Aug. 20 to 9.7% on Aug. 23.

VDH also tracks virus transmission in Virginia. The latest map shows almost all Virginia localities as high or substantial transmission levels. All localities in Central Virginia have high transmission.

The VDH also started tracking COVID-19 cases by vaccination status, now specifying if a patient is partially vaccinated. Previously, VDH only separated cases by vaccinated or unvaccinated.

The Virginia Department of Health reported over 7,000 additional cases over the weekend.
The Virginia Department of Health reported over 7,000 additional cases over the weekend.(Virginia Department of Health)

RPS virtual learning starts

Richmond’s middle and high school students attending Richmond Virtual Academy will begin school today.

Instruction is provided by state-certified teachers with Virtual Virginia, and students can return to in-person learning at any time. Students can also participate in sports and other school-based activities from their homes.

Learn more at this link.

According to the school district’s most recent update, four additional students tested positive at the Patrick Henry School of Science & Arts. The outbreak has led to 50 students in quarantine and 20 positive cases among students and staff. The district has reported a total of 67 cases since the beginning of August.

First day of school

King William County, King and Queen County and the rest of Chesterfield County students will head back to school today.

Many Chesterfield students went back yesterday, and now all other middle and high schoolers will join them.

Roughly 50 cases have been reported on Chesterfield County Public School’s dashboard since the beginning of August, which has left some parents concerned.

A CCPS spokesman said any parent trying to switch their child to virtual learning will be placed on a waitlist, but there is no timeline provided for when a student may be able to switch.

Henrico schools: Two meetings this week

Families in the Fairfield district can learn more about back-to-school plans at a town hall this evening.

It’s at the Fairfield Library from 6-8 p.m. You can join in person with a face maks or online through the school district’s website.

This Thursday, school leaders will vote on the school calendar for the next couple of years.

You can still give feedback on whether you want your child to start before or after Labor Day through this link.

1,500 VCU students fail to submit vaccine records

VCU students head back to the classroom today, and the university says nearly 1,500 students haven’t submitted their vaccine records or sought an exemption.

Those students now have a registration hold, meaning they can’t adjust this semester’s schedule or sign up for next semester.

Students will be able to go to class, but they’ll have to get routine COVID-19 tests and complete daily health checks.

VCU students begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 24. (Source: Bing)
VCU students begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 24. (Source: Bing)

Ultimate backpack drive

The Ultimate Backpack Drive is coming up tomorrow!

NBC12 is teaming up with the VCU Alumni Association to make sure students have everything they need for the next school year.

You can donate school supplies from 1-6 p.m. at The Diamond or you can donate money to allow organizers to buy the items.

The goal is to collect enough supplies to help 15,000 students.

Remains of Korean War veteran return home

More than 70 years after he was reported missing in action, the remains of a U.S. Army sergeant from Virginia are returning home.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that Army Sgt. Elwood M. Truslow has been accounted for.

The 20-year-old Batesville, Virginia, native was killed during the Korean War and was reported missing on Dec. 12, 1950. His unit was attacked by enemy forces as they attempted to withdraw near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea.

Truslow will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Final thought

“There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing. Be nothing. Say nothing.” — Aristotle

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