Virginia’s Unemployment Filing System Hasn’t Been Updated Since 1985
Dogwood newsletter
By Arianna Coghill
May 21, 2020

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood. We’ve got a roundup of today’s Virginia news coming right up. 

But First…

For student loan borrowers not eligible for COVID-19 relief under the CARES Act, help will soon be available. A new initiative will help over 200,000 Virginians struggling with student loan payments during the pandemic by waiving late fees and providing a minimum 90 days of forbearance. —  NBC 29

Five Things You Need to Know Today

  1. Virginia’s Coronavirus Cases Rise to Over 34,000- Virginia has seen an increase of 1,229 reported cases of COVID-19, bringing the commonwealth’s total to 34,137.  There are currently 4,093 people who’ve been hospitalized and 1,099 deaths due to the virus, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health. The VDH has also stated that 216,890 people have been tested for the coronavirus so far. — The Dogwood

  2. Roanoke Dam in Danger of Failing, May Cause Flooding- Roanoke officials state that the Spring Valley Dam is in danger of failing which could cause flooding in the surrounding areas. Over 60 structures have been evacuated, including 13 homes. According to city officials, residents are being notified via phone calls and emergency personnel going door-to-door. — WSLS

  3. Virginia Hasn’t Updated their Unemployment Filing System Since 1985- Virginia’s unemployment system has struggled to keep up with the increase of calls and emails from laid-off workers seeking help. According to the Virginia Employment Commissioner’s spokeswoman Joyce Fogg, the system they’re using was put in place in 1985. The five-person service team is fielding as many as 20,000 emails a day. — Dogwood

  4. State Board Votes to Freeze Tuition for Virginia Community Colleges- The State Board for Community Colleges voted unanimously to keep the same mandatory fee and tuition rates for the Fall 2020 semester. The tuition rate will remain at $154 per credit hour, which the board says is a third of the cost of attending a four-year university. This is the second year in a row that the board has voted to freeze tuition and fees for the fall. —  WHSV
  5. All The Virginia Factories With Coronavirus Outbreaks- Three factories in Virginia have become COVID-19 hot spots. The Perdue facility in Accomack County just reported an 18% positivity rate after testing 1,835 people. We’ve compiled the information on that outbreak and others and will update as news develops. —Dogwood
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