Dogwood Daily: Virginia Gun Sales Break Records in Response to Coronavirus
By Arianna Coghill
March 20, 2020

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…

Virginia, notorious for its strict alcohol legislation, is allowing any restaurant with a valid license to sell beer and wine to go and for delivery without the need for extra permits. Previously a non-refundable $195 fee, multiple public postings and 30-day waiting period was necessary. –Richmond Times-Dispatch

Five things you need to know today …

Coronavirus Cases Up to 114 Statewide- The state total of coronavirus cases has spiked to 114 overnight, according to health commissioner Norm Oliver. State lab capacity has increased and they now have enough supplies to test over 1,000 samples, according to Oliver. The criteria for testing will also be eased, especially for those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Experts at the University of Virginia are currently testing their own COVID-19 tests, according to Gov. Ralph Northam during a press conference. Northam also encourages, as the weather gets warmer, for people to go outside but to adhere to the 10 person gathering limit. –The Virginian Pilot

Virginia to Cancel SOLs Due to Coronavirus- Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests have been officially canceled due to the closure of Virginia K-12 schools iduring the COVID-19 pandemic. The state requested a waiver from the federal government to put off the standardized test. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said students shouldn’t be worried about “high stakes testing at a time like this.” Virginia Superintendent James Lane also said longer closures for Virginia schools are “a very real possibility”. – The Virginian Pilot

Record Breaking Gun Sales in Virginia due to COVID-19 Virus- Gun sales have skyrocketed to record-breaking levels in Virginia, and firearm dealers are attributing the growth to the coronavirus pandemic. Some also say it’s a response to gun safety legislation recently passed by the General Assembly. There was an 89% increase of firearm sales in January and a 64% increase in February when compared to last year.  The trend looks like it will continue in March. Richmond Times-Dispatch

First Case of Coronavirus Reported in Southwest Virginia- An 80-year-old Botetourt resident has tested positive for COVID-19, making her the first reported case in southwestern Virginia.  The woman reportedly went to the hospital with symptoms on Monday, was tested and the results cam back positive on Thursday. –The Roanoke Times

National Guard Activated to Aid in the Pandemic- The Virginia State Senate confirmed that Gov. Northam has activated the U.S. National Guard to assist with the state with coronavirus pandemic. In an e-mail, the Senate states that the National Guard will aid in dispensing supplies and equipment to Virginians, and not to “lock people in their homes.” –WAVY 10

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