Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Monday, March 15

By Brian Carlton

March 15, 2021

A mass vaccination clinic opens today, Sovah Health rolls back restrictions and and we head back to school.

Daily Number

300 – On March 14, 1881, a group of 300 Black men met in Petersburg for a convention. The question was if they would support the Readjuster Party or not. With the help of Black voters across the Commonwealth, the Readjuster Party won the majority in the Virginia House and Senate. Then they refinanced the state’s debt, increased funding for public schools and reformed the laws.

Mass Vaccination Site Opens Today in Danville

Virginia’s first community vaccination center opens this morning in Danville. Former JC Penney store space in the Danville Mall, located at 325 Piedmont Drive, is being used for the operation.

VDH officials hope to vaccinate an estimated 3,000 people each day at the site. Here’s what you need to know:

✅ It will be open six days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

❌ Walk-ins will not be accepted, only appointments

You can pre-register through the state site or by calling 1-877-829-4682. This includes options for vaccination sites, CVS and local hospitals.

Who’s Left From Virginia?

While we don’t exactly cover state sports at Dogwood, there are a few moments worth recognizing. We reached one of those on Sunday, with five of Virginia’s college basketball teams making it to the NCAA tournament.

Now why is that a big deal? Well, for a couple of reasons. First, Virginia tied its record from 2019 for the most teams from the state to make the tournament. Second, it placed in the top five list of states with the most teams playing this year.

As for who’s playing? Norfolk State will take on Appalachian State Thursday. Virginia Tech takes on Florida in the first round Friday. Liberty University is also playing on Friday, as they take on Oklahoma State. UVA meanwhile has some time to recover from COVID-19 quarantine. The Cavaliers will play Ohio on Saturday. And finally, VCU will also play on Saturday, taking on Oregon.

Southwest Wins Latest Lawsuit

The latest lawsuit against the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center got tossed out just before the weekend. The wildlife center, which treats roughly 1,500 injured animals per year, has been at the same Coleman Road location since 2014.

Two sets of neighbors purchased property on the unpaved access road nearby in 2017 and have filed multiple lawsuits since. The latest involves the center’s plans to build an aviary, where raptors and other birds recovering from surgery can rebuild their strength before being released.

The center developed plans for the aviary in 2018, but they haven’t been able to start construction due to lawsuits and appeals from the neighbors. Roanoke County Circuit Judge Charlie Dorsey tossed out the latest case this past week, saying the “petitioners have yet again failed to establish a particularized harm.”

“We’re really happy to have another win in our favor, but they continue to disrupt our operations with these endless and pointless lawsuits,” said the center’s executive director Sabrina Garvin.

Garvin and her staff expect the neighbors to appeal this case to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Dogwood’s #ThisIsVirginia Series Continues

Sovah Health Rolls Back Some Visitor Restrictions

This is what you might consider late breaking news for the Download. Actually, it literally came in right before we were set to publish. Sovah Health is switching from “orange” to “yellow” visitor restrictions.

The decision, which is effective immediately, means most patients can have one visitor each day. Now notice we said most. There is still a few folks, deemed high risk for COVID-19 infection, who still can’t have visitors. They are:

  • Everyone in Sovah Health’s behavioral unit
  • All patients in isolation
  • Any immunocompromised patients
  • All patients under observation
  • Any patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Visiting hours are between 10 a.m. to noon and from 5 to 8 p.m. The change impacts the chain’s hospitals in Martinsville and Danville.

Democratic Candidates Highlight Differences in Debate

Yes, it’s time to start talking about debates and candidates again. On Thursday, a coalition of more than 40 progressive advocacy groups came together to host the latest Virginia People’s Debate. Organizers invited all nine candidates for lieutenant governor.

Dogwood’s Ashley Spinks Dugan analyzed the event this weekend, highlighting differences between the campaigns and looking at their platforms.

What’s The First Week Back Been Like For Henry County?

Finally today, we turn toward the classroom for a #ClassDuringCOVID segment. In a way, things got back to normal for some students in Henry County this week. Wednesday marked a return to in-person instruction, the first time classes have been held in the district since November.

Dogwood’s Amie Knowles asked what the return was like, what changed and what stayed the same.

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