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Local Coronavirus Closings and Cancellations

Meherrin Regional Library - Brunswick County Library and Richardson Memorial Library (Tentative Reopening Date April 1, 2020)

All City of Emporia Offices are Closed to the Public (Municipal Building, Police Department and Public Works)

Greensville County Circuit Court Clerk (Tentative Reopening Date April 6, 2020)

Bruswick County Government is Closed to the Public

During this State of Emergency most Nursing Homes have Cancelled all Visitation

During this State of Emergency most Hospitala have changed their Visitation Policies, Please call ahead

Please check with your destination for current visitation policies during this Public Health Emergency/State of Emergency before leaving home

To include your closing or cancellation on this list, please email news@emporianews.com

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Governor Northam Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.

The order directs all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.

The executive order also directs all Virginia institutions of higher education to stop in-person classes and instruction. Private campgrounds must close for short-term stays, and beaches will be closed statewide except for fishing and exercise. 

“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” said Governor Northam. “Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Five can be found here.

Last week, Governor Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three closing certain non-essential businesses, prohibiting public gatherings of more than 10 people, and directing all K-12 schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year. A Frequently Asked Questions guide about Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus or CDC.gov/coronavirus.

Up-to-Date Information on the Coronavirus/COVID-19

For the most accurate information available please visit any of the following sites:

Remember to Keep Your Social Distance -

  • Remain About 6 Feet Apart
  • No Gatherings of More Than 10 People

Shelter in Place, Leaving Your Home Only for:

  • Groceries
  • Pharmacy
  • Medical Care
  • Exercise/Walking the Dog

Wash Your Hands Thouroughly and Often with Soap and Water for at Least Twenty Seconds (Sing Happy Birthday Twice).

If you are unable to wash your hands, Use Hand Sanitizer with an Alcohol Content of at Least 60%

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How can You avoid getting COVID-19?

 The Virginia Department of Health recommends that everyone follow everyday prevention practices:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning product.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday), especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol

 

If you do feel ill, please remember that there are many causes of respiratory illness. If you are sick, it is important that you speak with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your illness and determine if you might need to be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Please be aware that Hospitals and Elder Care Facilities may be restricting visitors to protect at risk populations within their facilities. If you are planning a visit to a hospital or Elder Care Facility (Rehab Facility, Nursing Home, Retiremient Home or Village), please call ahead and ensure that that facility is currently allowing visitors. If you are checking on elderly neighbors, also call ahead to ensure that they are receiving visitrors.

Please visit the Virginia Department of Health's Coronovirus Page for complete and updated information. This information was taken form the FAQ Document on March 12, 2020.

Southside Health District Confirms Case of COVID-19 in Brunswick County

The Southside Health District announced today a case of COVID-19 in a Brunswick County resident in his 20s. He is isolating at home. To protect patient privacy, no further information will be provided about this case, and VDH does not provide specific information on an investigation.

“We continue to see new cases of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth, and it’s now in our area. This reminds us how very critical it is that people follow public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” said Southside Health District Director Dr. Scott Spillmann. “Staying home and social distancing are the most effective strategies in limiting the spread of COVID-19, and lessening the impact of this pandemic.”

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Stay home as much as possible — especially when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

VCU Health CMH Visitation Changes

For our patients — your safety is our top concern.

(March 30, 2020) The health and safety of our patients, team members, and visitors are critical at all times. Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging family and friends to be part of the healing process. We continue to identify public health practices that reduce the risks of transmitting COVID-19, including restricting visitation within VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and clinics.

Effective Monday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m., we are instituting a temporary full visitor restriction policy to keep our team members, patients, and communities safe. In this difficult and unprecedented time, we know showing love and care is of the utmost importance, and our teams are committed to providing safe and compassionate care.  All who enter the hospital or the CARE Building will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

For inpatients this means: We are suspending all in-person visits to hospitalized patients for the duration of the pandemic. Exceptions include:

• Labor and Delivery unit: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Pediatric patients in all units: One (1) adult visitor, 18 years or older, permitted per patient
• Patients who are at the end of life: The number of visitors are determined by the patients’ care team.

To reach a patient, please dial (434) 584, followed by the four digits of the patient's room number.

For outpatients this means: For those with appointments, we are instituting the following temporary outpatient appointment policy:

• Only patients with verified appointments may enter our hospitals and clinics. Appointments will be verified at entry screening stations.
• For pediatric patients with verified appointments: Two (2) accompanying adults, 18 years or older, permitted per patient

The restrictions also apply to people entering the Emergency Department.

As of last Friday, March 27, 2020 virtual appointments are now possible with all VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital provider offices.

The patient should contact the practice using the telephone number of that practice to get the process started. This is for established patients only, no new patients can be added to this process unless they are requesting appointments directly related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Once the appointment has been made, the patient should:

1. Check their email for a Zoom meeting invite.

2. Write down Meeting ID in case needed while joining meeting

3. To join meeting, click on the link below “Join Zoom Meeting”. The provider must have initiated meeting in order for patient to join in.  If not, the patient will not be able to join in until the provider starts meeting.  Patient may have to try and re-join after a couple of minutes.

4. Patient needs to select “Join with Video”

5. Then join with “Call using Internet Audio” or “Dial in” – will need Meeting ID if dialing in

6. Leave meeting by clicking “End Meeting”

Additional precautions:

- We ask everyone to take extra steps to ensure good handwashing.  Ten handwashing stations have been placed outside the entrances to the following locations and we ask that everyone please wash their hands before entering buildings:  main hospital, Emergency Department, C.A.R.E. Building, Leggett Center, Cancer Center – Medical and Radiation Oncology, Chase City Primary Care, Clarksville Primary Care and VCU Health at Tanglewood.

- Visitors who are required to wear a mask to enter a patient room will be provided with only one mask per day, to be used in the patient room.

We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and visitors, and we appreciate your help keeping our loved ones and our community safe. Working together, we are confident that these measures will help us succeed with managing the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities while balancing the visitation needs of our patients.

The Hundley Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken action to aggressively respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  In order to comply with CMS mandates, nursing homes nationwide implemented restrictions and The Hundley Center at VCU Health CMH complied by suspending all visitation.  Residents have access to a private phone in their rooms.  To reach a resident, please dial (434) 584, followed by the number 4 and the three digits of the resident’s room number.  Our goal of protecting the health of each resident is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented situation.

VCU Health CMH is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For an official case count in Virginia (and locations of cases), please visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit:  vcuhealth.org/covid-19

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a call line established for COVID-19 questions, the number is 877-ASK-VDH3.   (877-275-8343)

Barbara R. Finch

July 17, 1956 - March 29, 2020

Barbara R. Finch, 63, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, March 29, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Richard H. & Doris Christine Rawlings and was also preceded in death by her husband, William S. Finch and a son, Lynn Finch.

Barbara is survived by two sons, Anthony Finch (Devin) and Jordy T. Finch (Sarah) and daughter, Leigh Ann Lewis (Nick); grandchildren, Bryce and Camryn Finch and Steven and Evan Lewis and a brother, James J. “Opie” Rawlings.

Barbara was a Licensed Practical Nurse and had spent her entire career at what is now Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Emergency Department. She loved her co-workers and considered them her extended family. She also loved baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves and attended faithfully the ball games of her grandchildren.

Funeral services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to Zion Baptist Church, c/o Missy Bullock, 2755 Rolling Acres Rd., Emporia, Virginia 23847 or to Greensville Memorial Foundation, P.O Box 1015, Emporia, Virginia 23847.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.




 

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

 

Maintenance Worker (Mechanical):  Performs mechanical repair and maintenance work, and related work as required. May work independently when assigned equipment or system monitoring responsibilities or when making minor or routine repairs to systems, equipment, pumps, etc. Welding, knowledge of electrical systems, and able to work normal day shift and overtime as needed.  Job Order #1933257

General Laborer/Machine Operator:  Seeking self-motivated individuals who are fast learners and take pride in their work, for full time position. Must be able to lift a minimum of 15 lbs. to a maximum of 45 lbs. Be a hard worker. Work well on a team. Able to work a minimum of 10 hours per day and overtime as needed.   Job Order #1933260

Forklift Operator:  Will be responsible for operating and managing industrial trucks to load and unload materials and deliveries, move them to and from storage areas, machines and loading docks into railroad cars, trucks or storage facilities. Must have at least one year experience on forklifts.  Job Order #1925594

Cashiers:  Must be able to multi-task, handle high pressure and busy periods. Must be able to work evenings, weekends and holidays. Will greet customers and assist them by scanning items, explaining prices, bagging items properly, counting cash and keeping work area neat and clean. Must be able to stand for long periods and work in an efficient and quick manner while maintaining accuracy.  Job Order #1933342

Dietary Aide I:  Prepares patient trays in accordance with dietary restrictions and menu choices. Transports food trucks and stores food supplies. Maintains sanitation of the kitchen area by washing/storing wares, emptying trash and sweeping/mopping. Handles food following Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines; to maintain work area in accordance with all sanitation and safety guidelines; and to provide excellent customer services when interacting with patients, visitors, co-workers and other staff throughout the facility.  Job Order #1933443

 

THESE AND ALL JOBS WITH THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT

www.vawc.virginia.gov

The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

Virginia Legal Aid Society Remains Open During Outbreak

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Virginia Legal Aid Society is remaining open for business, using law to resolve problems affecting the basics of life for low-income families and individuals.  Lawline, our telephone intake and advice system, will remain open during its normal business hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at 866-534-5243 (866-LEGL-AID). VLAS urges everyone to call rather than visit, if possible, to help keep everyone safe.    

VLAS's five offices in Lynchburg, Danville, Martinsville, Farmville and Suffolk will remain open by appointment and during limited open business hours.  Visitors should contact their local office prior to visiting in order to confirm hours of public access. The Lynchburg office is open to the public from 9 a.m.-noon weekdays; the other offices are open from 9-11 a.m. These hours are subject to change.

VLAS’s mission is to resolve the serious legal problems of low-income people, promote economic and family stability, reduce poverty through effective legal assistance, and to champion equal justice.

From Fashion Design to Chemistry, Classes Adapt to Distance Learning

By Jimmy O’Keefe, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- Students and teachers at all levels of education are transitioning from classroom to computer as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise. Not every subject lends itself to a smooth transition to distance learning, as students and instructors have discovered. 

“I think we’re all really frustrated,” said Jordyn Wade, a fashion design major at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “But we know that our professors are doing what they can in a really unprecedented situation.” 

Wade said that she and her classmates are now meeting remotely through Zoom, a video conferencing platform. Zoom allows students to meet virtually during a time when people can’t meet physically, but distance learning poses challenges for courses that require more than a lecture, like art classes and lab components of science classes.

Students like Wade worked mostly with industrial grade equipment.

“We kind of rely heavily on the school for supplies like sewing machines and the industrial equipment that can cost thousands of dollars,” Wade said. “Now we just stare at each other and they ask us,‘What can you guys do? Can you hand sew an entire jacket before the end of the month?’”

Wade said that one of the most frustrating aspects of distance learning is not being able to receive direct feedback from professors.

“We can’t ask our professors what’s wrong with the garment that we’re making, we can just send them pictures and hope they can figure it out from afar,” Wade said. 

Chloe Pallak, a student in VCU’s art program said that many of her projects are being graded on whether or not they are complete. 

“To get a grade for an assignment, you just have to do it,” Pallak said. “It really takes away the motivation of wanting to make art and not just complete the assignment.” 

Courses that include lab components, such as classes in environmental science, also face challenges as classes move online. Griffin Erney, an environmental studies major at VCU, said that distance learning prevents students from accessing lab materials that are typically provided in the classroom. 

“Before the class was online we would just do different activities and be provided with the materials,” Erney said. “Having labs online is more challenging, on top of all the work that we already have.” 

On Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam issued an order that closed down all K-12 schools in the state for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Davide D’Urbino, a chemistry and organic chemistry teacher at Clover Hill High School in Chesterfield County, said he plans on using computer applications to supplement labs that cannot be completed in the classroom. He said the school division requested that teachers hold off on introducing new learning material.

“The expectation was that you could teach new stuff, but then you have to go back in class and reteach it,” D’Urbino said.

D’Urbino said teachers aren’t allowed to teach new material online because some students may not have internet access. He said he understands why the school division has placed these restrictions but said it “feels weird.” 

Distance learning has also presented challenges to teachers trying to adapt to lecturing online. 

“Some people say teaching is 75 percent theater, you just go out there and do improv. You can’t really do that online,” D’Urbino said. “It’s very difficult to intervene and correct course if you realize something isn’t quite working out.”

Teachers have also scrambled for ways to continue instruction for students that lack access to the internet.

Janice Barton, a 5th grade science teacher at Honaker Elementary School in Russell County, said that about half of the 60 students she teaches have access to the internet. She said the school is using Google Classroom, a web platform that allows teachers to share files with students through the internet. For students without internet access, teachers create physical packets of learning content.

“We’re working as grade levels, we’re going in and working together to put the packets together,” Barton said. “We have pickup days and drop-off days, and that’s how we are working and dealing with this right now.”

Barton said the school uses phone calls, emails, and the app Remind, which allows teachers to send messages to students to keep in contact with parents and students. 

While local school divisions are tasked with making decisions on how to pursue distance learning, the Virginia Department of Education issued guidance to help divisions continue instruction. 

VDOE’s guidance to local school divisions includes offering instruction during the summer of 2020, extending the school term or adjusting the next, and adding learning modules to extended school calendars. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane issued guidance regarding eight high school senior graduation requirements and will be issuing further guidance for half of those, which can not be waived outright. 

Two other graduation requirements -- training in emergency first aid and the completion of a virtual course -- require action by the General Assembly in order to be waived.

Crater Health District Health Departments Reports its First COVID-19 Death and Confirmed Cases in Emporia and Greensville County

(Petersburg, Va.) – The Crater Health District today announced the death of a resident from complications associated with COVID-19.  To protect patient confidentiality, no further information about the patient will be provided.

“We are so sorry to hear of the loss of a Crater Health District resident.  Our sincere condolences go out to their family and friends,” said Crater Health District Director Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH. “It is especially important to remember elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, including death. These at-risk individuals are strongly advised to take steps to minimize contact with others who are ill, practice social distancing, and stay at home as much as possible.”

First Confirmed Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Emporia

(Emporia, Virginia)- The Crater Health District (CHD) announced today a resident of the city of Emporia has tested positive for coronavirus 19 (COVID-19).   This marks the first positive COVID-19 case in the city of Emporia.  The individual is a male in his 30s and is self –isolating at home.

“As testing availability increases in our localities and across the Commonwealth, we expect to continue to have confirmed cases,” said Crater Health District Director Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH.  We continue to recommend effective measures to keep Crater Health District residents safe and well. It is important for everyone to continue practicing personal public health precautions, especially social distancing and hand and surface hygiene. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you healthy.”

“People at higher risk of infection with COVID-19 include: people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Others at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19,”said Epidemiologist Senior E. Katrina Saphrey, MPH

Crater Health District Confirms First Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Greensville County

(Greensville County, Virginia)- The Crater Health District announced that a resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Greensville County.  The female is in her 70’s and hospitalized. This is the seventh case in the district and the first case in Greensville County.

“With each confirmed case, we identify possible contacts, evaluate their risk of exposure and recommend appropriate public health and medical measures,” said Crater Health District Director, Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH  “The Virginia Department of Health’s Crater Health District and our healthcare partners continue to work together to identify cases of COVID-19 in our communities across the Commonwealth.”

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days after exposure to an infectious person.

We all can take steps to protect our health and the health of our loved ones.

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet or more away from others.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

The Crater Health District has activated a coronavirus call center, which is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. to address questions from residents. Community members may call 804-862-8989.  The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Crater Health District serves the cities and counties of Dinwiddie, Emporia, Greensville, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, Surry and Sussex.

First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Southampton County

A male in his 60’s from Southampton County has tested positive for COVID-19. While the patients address is in Southampton County, the patient currently resides at an assisted living facility in Northampton County, North Carolina. The patient was transported to a local hospital, for an unrelated medical emergency.

The Western Tidewater Health District (WTHD) is working a full contact investigation collaboratively with the Northampton County Health Department.  WTHD will notify those with contact exposures and advise those persons of the precautions they should take.

“This case is a great example of the collaborative public health effort that occurs when we have patients that cross state borders,” said Dr. Todd Wagner, director of the Western Tidewater Health District.

Note: This case is not included in the totals posted today on the VDH website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.
  • Avoid crowds of more than ten people.

This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Residents should contact the information call center at (757) 683-2745 with questions about the COVID-19 situation.

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Virginia State Trooper struck by passing motorist

SUSSEX COUNTY: On Wednesday, March 25 at approximately 8:00 this morning, a Virginia State Trooper was on the closed median of southbound Interstate 95, south of Route 602,  observing traffic, when he was struck by another vehicle. The driver of a 2004 Chevrolet pick-up truck, Jerry Lee Vick, lost control of his vehicle, ran off the roadway, and struck the troopers vehicle in the rear. (See attached photos.) The trooper and Mr. Vick suffered minor, non-life threatening injuries. Vick, of Fort Washington, Maryland, was charged with reckless driving.

Real ID deadline extended until 2021 amid coronavirus outbreak

By Hannah Eason, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- The deadline for Real IDs has been extended until October 2021. The move was prompted by widespread Department of Motor Vehicle customer service center closures during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.

The deadline for the IDs was Oct. 1. After the deadline, the licences will be required to access federal facilities, board domestic flights and enter nuclear power plants.

The application process must be completed in person, but Virginia has closed DMV customer service centers until April 2 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. DMV closures and restricted access nationwide will prevent people from receiving Real IDs. Gov. Ralph Northam added a 60-day extension to any license or registration expiring before May 15.

“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said in a news release. “Our state and local partners are working tirelessly with the Administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts.”

A regular driver’s license can still be used for driving, voting and verifying identity. Real IDs are marked by a black or gold star symbol in the top-right corner of the license.

The Real ID application process requires multiple forms of identity, such as:

  • U.S. passport or birth certificate

  • Social security card or W-2 form displaying social security number

  • Two of the following: valid Virginia driver’s license, recent utility bills, mortgage statements or leasing agreements

  • Proof of name changes if applicable

Non-U.S. citizens must show proof of identification and legal presence, such as an unexpired passport and visa, permanent resident card or employment authorization document. Virginians who do not have a Real ID must have federally accepted identification, such as a passport, to board a domestic flight or enter a secured federal facility.

Farmville resident Ethan Bowman, who was left unemployed by the coronavirus outbreak when he was unable to start a new political marketing job, has not received a Real ID but said an extension will help him.

“I don't have a copy of my birth certificate,” Bowman said. “So I would have to get that somehow before the deadline.”

Right now, there are other things on Bowman’s mind. He said his two roommates are out of work due to the pandemic, and the two grocery stores in the town of 8,000 were low on food Wednesday.

“We sent my cousin out for food and he just sent a bunch of pictures back to our little group chat, and it was just empty shelves, everywhere,” Bowman said of the Walmart Supercenter in Farmville.

Casey Tharpe, a respiratory therapy major at Radford University Carilion, received a Real ID in January after an eight-hour day of computer issues at the DMV in South Boston.

“You just had to check this box for Real ID, but honestly I really have no use whatsoever for Real ID,” Tharpe said. “I've been on a plane once in my life.”

Wolf stated that extending the deadline would also allow the Department of Homeland Security to work with Congress and implement the “needed changes to expedite the issuance of Real IDs.”

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for February 2020

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Nickey Powell, RN in ICU, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for February.  There to congratulate Nickey was Mellissa Black, Acute Care Nursing Director and Mary Hardin, Vice President of Patient Care Services.

If you are sick or injured, you want someone fighting for you and that’s what you have in Nickey Powell, RN in the Intensive Care Unit.  Nickey was named the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Month for February.

Mellisa Black DNP, RN, MS, CCRN, NE-BC, and Director of Acute Care Services, described Nickey as “a wonderful nurse, who is never afraid to say something to benefit the patient.”

Nickey was nominated by the husband of one of her patients.  He said, “Nickey had such a pleasant attitude and genuine concern for my wife’s health and she went above and beyond to make my wife and I as comfortable as could be. She’s truly a blessing!”

Mellisa said, “The patient and her husband came by my office to express their gratitude for the excellent care they received from Nickey.  Nickey is a wonderful example of great relationship-based care.

Nickey has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University and is originally from Elizabeth City, NC and now resides in Norlina, NC.

She’s been with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for the past five years and likes CMH because “it just feels like home.”  “We are such a family in the unit. I feel like I know everyone who works here.”

Nickey and husband, Tony, have three daughters, Claire, 7, Harper, 5, and Ella who turns three in March.

BA First Semester All As Breakfast

On February 20, 2020, Brunswick Academy honored high school students who obtained all As for the First Semester.  Mrs. Courtney Roberts Nickels (BA Class of 2004) was guest speaker. Mrs. Nickels gave an inspirational speech to our students and parents. She stated that “the process of learning is ultimately the lesson.” She also encouraged students to step out of their comfort zone and to enjoy where you are in life right now and keep up the good work.” Congratulations to all of these students!

VSU Cooperative Extension Programs Go Virtual

Specialty crop Extension specialist Dr. Reza Rafie conducts research on more than 39 varieties of blueberry bushes at Virginia State University's Randolph Farm in Ettrick. He shares the information he gathers with the public through events like this Thursday's virtual Blueberry Field Walk through Facebook Live

Annual Blueberry Field Walk at university’s Randolph Farm to be delivered through Facebook Live this Thursday, March 26, at 4 p.m. New format allows Extension faculty to reach global audiences, while practicing necessary social-distancing COVID-19 precautions.

To continue providing the public with research-based information that keeps them safe, healthy and informed, Virginia Cooperative Extension is turning to digital methods for public outreach.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is managed through the Commonwealth’s two land-grant universities, Virginia State University (VSU) and Virginia Tech.

VSU Extension faculty are offering their first on-line-only public program this Thursday, March 26, at 4 p.m. through Facebook Live. The annual Blueberry Field Walk will be conducted by specialty crop Extension specialist Dr. Reza Rafie. Facebook Live was selected as the digital platform to conduct this program because: it is accessible to anyone with a smartphone or a computer; participants do not need to have a Facebook account; the public can ask questions in real-time by typing them into the session; and the live program can be recorded, close-captioned and posted on the VSU Cooperative Extension website (ext.vsu.edu) with additional resources on the subject.

During the Facebook Live event Rafie will walk through VSU's Randolph Farm blueberry fields and high tunnel, where a collection of 39 different cultivars are under study. All are different in terms of productivity, time of maturity, plant structure, fruit size, bush size, vigor, etc. This program provides an excellent opportunity to learn about these cultivars and ask questions in real time to help growers decide which ones may be best for their needs.

Blueberry is the fastest growing berry crop in many states including North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Market demand for blueberry continues to grow, and profit potential for growing locally grown blueberry is considerable. One major issue for blueberry growers is the planting of the new blueberry cultivars (varieties) that are becoming available with superior fruit size, taste, color, and pest and disease tolerance.

For more information, or if you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, contact Mark Klingman from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (804) 524-5493 / TDD (800) 828-1120 or mjklingman@vsu.edu 48 hours before the start of the program. A recorded version of the program with close captioning will be available on Rafie’s webpage (https://www.ext.vsu.edu/horticulture) by the end of the following week.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

 

 

 

Riparian Woman’s Club Scholarship Applications

The Riparian Woman’s Club is pleased to present two scholarships to qualifying seniors. The club has participated in the scholarship program for many years.

Applications are available via email. Please email news@emporianews.com to have your contanct information forwarded.

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must:

  • Be a High School Senior;
  • Be a resident of Greensville County, the City of Emporia or the Town of Jarratt, Virginia;
  • Submit a completed Scholarship Application to the Riparian Woman’s Club Scholarship Committee no later than the deadline date specified; Monday, April 27th, 2020 ;
  • Submit a signed Teacher Recommendation Form;
  • Submit a High School Transcript, to include SAT Scores, as well as Class Rank.

Applications may be turned in to guidance counselors by no later than Monday, April 27, 2020.

Greensville County Public Schools Providing Meals During Emergency Closure

Greensville County Public Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch meals, during our emergency closure.  Meals will be provided to all children without charge.  Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided, on a first come, first serve basis. Children must be present to receive the meal. We will bus meals to certain locations throughout the school district.

Meals will be available for pick up at the sites and times as follows:

                        Location                                                                                  Days of Service



Greensville Elementary School

1011 Sussex Drive, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–12:00 pm


Greensville County High School

403 Harding Street, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–12:00 pm


Old Brink School

Brink Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15 am


Skippers Post Office

5334 Skippers Road, Skippers, VA 23879


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:30 am.–9:45 am


Cain’s Mobile Home Park

299 Liberty Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:50am-10:00 am


Brook Ridge Apartments

1325 Skippers Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 10:05-10:20 am


Washington Park Ball Field

750 Dry Bread Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.­­-9:15 am


Meherrin River Park

1001 Meherrin Park Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:20 am.–9:30 am


Spring Hill Village Mobile Home Park

Lowground Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:40 am.–9:55 am


Falling Run Apartments

South Main Street, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 10:00 am.–10:15 am


Purdy Store

14 Smokey Ordinary Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15am


Jarratt Ball Park

South Braxton Ave, Jarratt VA 23867


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:30 am.–9:45 am


Old Roberts Apartments

Sussex Drive, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:55 am.–10:10 am


Woodruff Store

5559 Pleasant Shade Drive, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15 am


Greenleaf Inn Road

Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:20 am.–9:35 am


Scottsdale Trailer Court

Carter Road, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:40 am.–9:55


Reese Village

311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15 am


Northwood Village

300 Lewis Street, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:20 am.–9:35am


McDonald’s Bus Parking Lot

905 Market Drive, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 9:40 am.–9:55 am


Top Hand Foundation

203 W Atlantic Street, Emporia, VA 23847


March 18 – March 27 Monday – Friday

Breakfast & Lunch 10:00 am.–10:15 am

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)   Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)   Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)   Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

 

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Governor Northam Declares State of Emergency, Outlines Additional Measures to Combat COVID-19

While Virginia has been thoroughly preparing for weeks and has adequate funding to address the situation, this declaration will allow the Commonwealth increased flexibility to ease regulatory requirements and procurement rules, continue federal and multi-state coordination, and ensure continued access to critical services for the most vulnerable Virginians. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that states must take a primary leadership role in the national response to COVID-19. The full text of the Governor’s emergency declaration is available here.

“Our top priority is to make sure Virginians stay safe and healthy, and that our response to this situation leaves no one behind,” said Governor Northam. “From our health department, to our schools, to our hospitals, to our transit systems, Virginia’s agencies and institutions have been thoroughly planning for every scenario. This emergency declaration will ensure we can continue to prepare for and appropriately respond to Virginians’ needs during this time.”

Governor Northam also announced additional steps to ensure the health and safety of all Virginians, including:

Ban on State Employee Travel and Implementation of Telework Policies

Virginia has over 100,000 state employees stationed throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Northam has halted all official travel outside of Virginia by state employees, with increased flexibility for inter-state commuters and essential personnel. Specific guidance will be released to agency heads and state employees, and Virginia will revisit these guidelines after 30 days.

Governor Northam has also directed his Secretary of Administration to implement a phased transition to teleworking for state employees. The Department of Human Resources Management will work with the Virginia Department of Health’s Equity Workgroup to prioritize support for impacted state employees that may be unable to perform their duties from home, including janitorial, food, and grounds staff.

The Department of Human Resources Management has worked to ensure all agencies have updated emergency operations and leave policies. State employees, including part-time employees, can access paid Public Health Emergency Leave in the event of exposure to COVID-19 or high-risk travel.

Public Gatherings and Large Events

In accordance with advice from state public health experts, the Commonwealth of Virginia will cancel all specially-scheduled state conferences and large events for a minimum of 30 days.

Governor Northam is directing state agencies, through the Department of Human Resource Management, to limit in-person meetings and non-essential, work-related gatherings.

Governor Northam is also urging localities and non-profits to limit large public events, effective immediately. Localities should make these decisions in coordination with their local health departments and the Virginia Department of Health. Highly populated localities and those with close proximity to positive cases are strongly encouraged to announce updated event guidance by Friday, March 13, at 5:00 PM, in advance of the weekend.

Long-Term Economic Planning

Governor Northam is also assessing the potential long-term economic impacts of COVID-19. While containing the spread of the public health threat remains a top priority, Governor Northam is working with state and local partners to ensure Virginia are prepared for any continued economic disruption.

Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade will coordinate regularly with representatives from the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other relevant stakeholders.

Throughout his administration, Governor Northam has worked closely with state legislators to protect Virginia’s strong economy and prepare for unexpected economic shocks. The General Assembly will vote today on a budget that boosts Virginia’s reserve funds more than at any other time in the Commonwealth’s history, an essential mechanism to ensure continued state services regardless of economic uncertainty.

Ongoing State Response Efforts

The Commonwealth of Virginia is continuing to execute a multi-agency response plan across all levels of government. Efforts include the following:

Schools

  • The Department of Education has advised all school districts to update their pandemic guidelines, in consultation with their local health departments.

  • The Northam administration continues to be in regular communication with superintendents, university and community college presidents, to provide guidance on the unique situations they are facing on the ground.

Nursing Homes

  • The Virginia Department of Health has expanded its testing criteria to ensure that anyone who has symptoms and is in a nursing home is top priority and gets immediate testing.
  • Nursing homes and senior care facilities have updated their policies to provide additional visitor screening and increased monitoring of patients.

Vulnerable Virginians

  • Virginia’s social services agencies are preparing options to ensure the most vulnerable populations have continued access to critical services, including the potential for in-home care and food supports.
  • In the event of extended school closures, the Virginia Department of Social Services is working with local partners, such as food pantries, to ensure no one goes hungry.

Addressing Barriers to Care

  • Virginia is working with insurers to waive co-pays and diagnostic testing related to COVID-19.
  • Governor Northam continues to encourage private businesses to explore telework and paid time off options, including those with hourly workers.

Transportation

  • Across the Commonwealth’s transportation network, which includes airports, Metro, buses, and rail, Virginia is adjusting cleaning schedules according to CDC protocol.
  • Virginia is also working with transportation partners to help reduce the potential spread of disease.

Help Children by Having Fun Golfing

Help children at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services who suffer from mental health and/or substance use disorders while having fun golfing.

Jackson-Feild will host its 25th Annual Golf Tournament on May 4 at the Golf Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County.  Over the past 24 years, this tournament has raised $538,520 to meet a variety of operating and capital needs that benefitted its children.

The proceeds this year will be used to improve upgrade much-needed infrastructure projects on campus.

 Jackson-Feild seeks raise $30,000 from the tournament to meet these needs.

The cost to pay is $150 per player, or $600 for a team.  Lunch is provided at noon, and a banquet at the close of play. Play begins at 1:00 p.m.  with shotgun start.

Jackson-Feild’s mission is to provide high-quality evidence-based services for children who have suffered severe emotional trauma, mental illness, and/or struggling with addiction. The goal is to restore wellness so that children can successfully return home to their community.

For more information, call Tod Balsbaugh at 804-354-6929 or tbalsbaugh@jacksonfeild.org.  You may register by phone or on our website at www.jacksonfeild.org.

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