Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Monday, March 8.

By Megan Schiffres

March 8, 2021

It’s time to update your vaccine pre-registration, Senate Democrats pass another COVID-19 relief bill, and the NFL appoints its first Black female official.

Daily Number

56 – That’s the number of years that have passed since Black civil rights activists marched and risked their lives in Selma, Alabama to protest racist voter suppression on Bloody Sunday. The anniversary of that protest was yesterday.

Update Your Vaccine Pre-Registration in Virginia

You probably already got the email from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), but in case it got sent to your spam folder, you should know that it’s time to update your COVID-19 registration.

Even if you’ve already pre-registered for the vaccine, either at your local health district or at, you still need to update it. That’s because additional questions were added to the pre-registration form that might impact your eligibility for the vaccine.

These questions include information about your ethnicity, address, age, and employer. It’ll also gather information about any special accommodations you might need, and whether your work allows you to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.

When you update your pre-registration, it will ask you to verify your contact information.

Updating your record will not change your pre-registration date or status, according to the department. When it’s your turn for the vaccine, you will receive an email, phone call, or text message from your local health department or a partner provider. Vaccines are available by appointment only.

To update your pre-registration, click here.

Senate Democrats Pass COVID-19 Relief Bill

The American Rescue Plan Act passed the U.S. Senate Saturday.

President Biden’s first COVID-19 relief bill, which totals nearly $2 trillion, includes direct stimulus payments of $1,400 for most Americans. Individuals who make less than $80,000 qualify for this stimulus money. Joint filers who make less than $160,000 are also eligible.

If it passes the House, those checks would start going out next week.

The bill also extends the $300 unemployment assistance created by the CARES Act until August 29. These benefits were originally going to expire March 31.

Now that it’s been tweaked by the Senate, the bill returns to the U.S. House for approval.

NFL Appoints Virginia Teacher To Be Its First Black Female Official

On Friday, Maia Chaka became the first Black woman to work as an official for the National Football League (NFL).

Chaka is a Virginia native who spent the past decade working as a physical educator at the Renaissance Academy in Virginia Beach. She’s been officiating football games since 2006, and training with the NFL since 2014, according to TODAY.

“I’ve just been grinding for so long at this, it’s just an honor to be able to join the National Football League,” said Chaka.

The first female NFL official, Sarah Thomas, joined the league in 2015. Last month, she made history again as the first female referee to work in the Super Bowl.

COVID-19 Reached Virginia One Year Ago

This weekend marked a depressing anniversary for the Commonwealth.

The first case of COVID-19 in Virginia was confirmed on March 7, 2020. Now, a year and a day later, 585,700 Virginians have the virus. Nearly 10,000 people, or 9,596 to be exact, have died from COVID-19 in Virginia.

It was only a few days later, on March 13, 2020, that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam closed schools in the Commonwealth in response to the pandemic for the first time.

Now, the Virginia General Assembly is requiring local school divisions to begin providing in-person learning options by July 1. That’s despite the Commonwealth having 4,883 more cases of the virus than it reported on March 21, 2020, the first day the VDH has records available of the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

According to the VDH, 2,693,535 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been received in Virginia. Of those doses, the Commonwealth has administered 89.4%.

Trivia Answer: That’s Bananas

We hope you found our punny trivia clue last week to be aPEELing! If you missed it, we asked our readers to tell us – what’s yellow, technically a herb, and can be ripped apart with your bare hands? The answer, of course, is a banana.

12-Year-Old Arrested in DC Carjacking

Last Thursday, a 12-year-old boy was arrested in connection to a string of armed carjackings in D.C. In under an hour, the child was allegedly part of four different attempted carjackings.

The victims of three of these carjackings escaped the scene of the crime with their vehicles. However, the 12-year-old’s fourth alleged attempt at stealing a car was successful.

Shortly after fleeing the scene with the victim’s vehicle, police apprehend the suspect. That’s according to a statement by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC). According to the department, the 12-year-old was not alone.

“An additional suspect was captured in a surveillance camera,” the statement said. MPDC detectives are still investigating this case.

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