Restrictions lift in Virginia, more people can get vaccinated and the General Assembly made a couple last minute changes this weekend.
RICHMOND-Wait, this looks a bit different than the newsletter you’re used to. Why’s that? Well, we wanted to offer more quick hits. We know you’ve got a busy schedule and can’t always dive into some long stories. So we’re adding newsbriefs, some video and a few graphics, in addition to some solid articles. Basically, here’s the stuff you should know before heading out for your Monday.
1781 – On this date, the Continental Congress announced the Articles of Confederation were in effect. That’s the first written constitution of the U.S. It looks a bit different from the final constitution, as the goal here was mainly to establish the new government’s structure.
Southwest Virginia Residents Can Start Vaccine Signups
Good news for Southwest Virginia residents, as Ballad Health’s online registration system went live this morning. If you’re a healthcare worker, anyone over the age of 65 or a person between 16 to 64 with chronic health conditions, you can sign up here. As soon as you click the link, there’s a massive “COVID-19 vaccine registration” sign.
There are two vaccination sites in Southwest Virginia to choose from, Norton and Abingdon. But this is the important part. You will have to get both doses at the same location. That means if you sign up and get a shot at the Abingdon site, that’s where you have to return in two weeks for shot #2.
When you go for an appointment:
- Bring a photo ID
- Healthcare workers will need their work ID badge
- Do not leave without scheduling your second appointment
- Do not immediately leave. Ballad officials ask that people stay for 15 minutes, so they can check for any possible side effects.
Restrictions Were Lifted Early This Morning
Things changed a bit overnight. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam put a clock on some of Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions, announcing that they would be lifted on March 1 at midnight. Well, that time has come and gone, so what exactly does it mean?
We don’t have any new restrictions in place. Let’s make that clear now. Instead, some rules have been completely lifted and others have been altered a bit. Dogwood’s Brian Carlton explains the differences right here.
Mitchel Evan Creates Music in a Pandemic
In case you missed our last live edition, we brought in multiple musicians both to perform and to talk about how the pandemic’s changed their industry. Just click on our embedded video for a short, 1-minute quick hit with Richmond’s Mitchel Evan.
No End For Mandatory Minimums
We mentioned the General Assembly offered some surprises this weekend. One of those was the fact the bill repealing mandatory minimum sentences died in conference. Both the House and Senate passed versions of it, but over the last few days, they couldn’t agree on terms.
So what does that mean? Well, means mandatory sentences remain in effect until at least the next session. Even the Assembly’s own Crime Commission said mandatory sentencing was a bad idea that needed to go. Dogwood’s Brandon Carwile tackled that subject earlier this year.
Important Dates Coming Up
- March 8 – International Women’s Day
- March 14 – Spring forward for Daylight Savings Time
- March 15– All schools in the Commonwealth have to submit a plan to return to in-person learning.
- March 16 – Freedom of Information Day
- March 20 – Spring Equinox
- March 23 – Special election for District 38 Virginia Senate. Democrat Laurie Buchwald will compete against Republican Travis Hackworth.
What Will Worship Look Like Post-Pandemic?
In the pandemic, Virginia churches had to adapt. But what will worship services look like after things return to normal? Dogwood’s Ashley Spinks Dugan talks with church leaders about what might change and what could stay the same.
General Assembly Takes Steps to Protect Animals
Finally today, we turn to another piece of legislation the General Assembly signed off on over the weekend. This one’s pretty simple. If you’re convicted of animal cruelty, you can’t own, operate or volunteer at a pet store.
The bill also affects the way pet adoptions are handled in the Commonwealth, as Dogwood’s Amie Knowles explains.