News to Know for Dec. 31: VA hospital plea; New Year’s Eve will go on; Foggy, warm

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:12 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:33 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - We have finally reached the last day of 2021, let’s celebrate by taking a look at some of our top headlines!

Virginia Hospitals


As COVID-19 cases begin to surge again - due to the Omicron variant, hospitals in Virginia are feeling the strain.

Some local health systems are asking some COVID-positive patients, and those wanting to get tested to hold off on heading to the emergency room.

Sounds crazy? Well, health officials and hospital leaders say they’re experiencing a 5th surge in cases.

So who should go to the hospital? Health officials say only those experiencing severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, and an elevated temperature over multiple days.

Hospitals across the Commonwealth are seeing an influx in asymptomatic patients, as well as patients with the flu and other seasonal illnesses, flood emergency rooms.

Health officials say they expect this surge to continue after the holidays.

The Ball Will Drop in Times Square

new years eve times square
new years eve times square(Seth Wenig | AP)

Good news for those who like to watch New Year’s Eve specials at home or while out and about - THE SHOW WILL GO ON!

However, this year’s event will be scaled back due to the record number of COVID-19 infections in New York and around the nation.

The city will still allow fully vaccinated people to attend, but the audience will be four times smaller than it usually is - and masks will be required for all.

You’ve Been Served

Attorney General Mark Herring is suing the town of Windsor, alleging its police department is violating the rights of African Americans.

This comes eight months after bodycam video showed a Windsor police officer pepper-spraying Caron Nazario, an Army lieutenant back in April.

The town of Windsor believes this is a matter best left up to the incoming attorney general Jason Miyares.

Isle of Wight County NAACP Advocacy Advisor Brandon Randleman says in the event that Miyares drops the suit - the NAACP will take its complaints to the federal courts.

Chesterfield Mom Wanted

Astrid Sanchez Diaz and her son.
Astrid Sanchez Diaz and her son.(Chesterfield Police)

Police need your help to find a mother and her baby - after they say a social media video surfaced showing her shaking the 4-month-old.

Police say 20-year-old Sanchez Diaz appears to be making threats to the child’s father as she’s shaking the baby.

Officers have tried to find Diaz and the baby to check on his welfare - but have not found them.

If you see them or have any information, call 804-748-1251 immediately.

Future of Richmond’s Confederate Monuments

Richmond’s Confederate monuments will soon have new owners.

Governor Northam and Mayor Stoney announced plans to transfer ownership of these statues and pedestals to The Black History Museum.

The museum will partner with The Valentine to come up with a public feedback process - that could take up to a year to complete.

As for the Lee monument? The state plans to transfer the monument to the city first.

This process will start Jan. 3 with Richmond City Council.

New Year, New X-ray Machine

Thanks to your help, the Richmond SPCA will be getting a new one!

After 17 years, the machine has been used to diagnose tens of thousands of shelter animals and pets belonging to families of modest means at the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital.

However, the machine needed to be replaced - so they put out a call on social media for donations, and they were able to reach their goal of $22,000.

Shelter officials say the machine won’t be coming in for a few weeks, so they are renting one in the meantime.

Foggy & Warm

Well, Richmond’s last morning of 2021 began with some very dense fog!

However, instead of the sun coming out tomorrow - it will come out later!

Today will be partly sunny with highs in the 60s.

Final Thought

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” -- Brad Paisley

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