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Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news coming right up.

But first…

It is now easier than ever to vote in Virginia, thanks to progressive legislators overhauling election rules established under Republican legislative control.  Early voting for any reason is now permitted, as well as same day registration. – Virginia Mercury

Five things you need to know today …

  1. First Corona Related Death in Virginia- Virginia reported its first corona-related death on Saturday. The patient was a man in his 70s who contracted the virus from an unknown source, according to the Virginia Department of Health.  His cause of death was respiratory failure. Experts say that his death was likely due to community transmission. The health department is currently investigating his contacts, according to Dr. Lillian Peake, Virginia’s state epidemiologist. The Virginian Pilot
  2. SOL Testing will Continue for K-12 Students- Virginia’s statewide standardized testing, known as the SOLs, has never been canceled, according to department spokesperson Charles Pyle. So far, that record will not be broken by the coronavirus. According to Pyle, the school districts are being advised on testing windows and are recommended to provide exceptions where they’re needed. The SOLs cannot be given at home and must be administered in a secure environment. – WSLS 10
  3. Governor Bans Gatherings of Over 100 people- Gov. Ralph Northam announced a statewide ban on gatherings in 100 or more people in response to the rapidly rising coronavirus cases. “If you’re planning an event with several people, cancel it. Period.” said Northam during a news conference. He said the state isn’t to the point of mandatory quarantine, but recommends residents to avoid bars, restaurants, churches and any other social gatherings. –The Daily Progress
  4. 6 New Corona Case in VA, First Case in Charlottesville-  6 new presumptive cases of coronavirus, not including Charlottesville’s first reported case, bringing the statewide total to over 52 cases.  The 6 new cases are “presumptively positive”, meaning they’re pending confirmatory testing from the CDC. Cases were found in York, James, Arlington, Chesterfield and Stafford counties. The Charlottesville patient is in their late 50s and is the first case in Thomas Jefferson Health District. The patient is currently isolated, according to officials, and they are investigating who had close contact with the patient. WSLS 10 & WSLS 10
  5. Blood Drives Are Canceled Due to Coronavirus- Blood drives across the state are being canceled due to the coronavirus, making it harder American Red Cross to help those in need. 47 blood drives have been canceled due to businesses and universities closures, estimating to over 1,000 units of blood lost. However,  American Red Cross is still taking donations. To see if you’re eligible click here. –WSLS 10

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