RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Here’s the latest on the coronavirus pandemic for April 20, 2020:
The Virginia Department of Health reported that 8,990 Virginians have tested positive for coronavirus. The novel coronavirus has now killed 300 people.
56,735 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus in Virginia.
Latest coronavirus headlines:
- VIRGINIA RESPONDS: Have your questions answered by Gov. Northam
- New COVID-19 cases drop in Virginia for third straight day
- Infrequent showering and cleaning, lack of distancing at Va Women’s Correctional Center, says inmate
- Beware of fake text messages and robocalls during the pandemic
- Experts say it may be time for grocery stores to ban customers from coming inside
Virginia working to expand testing capability
Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday that Virginia is working to expand its testing capabilities. The governor announced the creation of the Testing Work Group, which was developed to unite the private testing labs in Virginia.
The group will focus on coordinating a statewide plan to expand Virginia’s testing. State officials said during Monday’s coronavirus briefing that the effort is key to loosening restrictions implemented in response to the virus.
Richmond, Henrico health districts offer free coronavirus testing in two neighborhoods
The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts announced Monday that residents in two local neighborhoods — Woodman West and Henrico Arms — will be able to get free COVID-19 testing.
Residents can get a free coronavirus test if they are experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing or a fever. If you have any of these symptoms and live in the area call the Health District hotline at 804-205-3501 for more information or click here.
Richmond businesses can now apply for grant from the Save Small Business Fund
Richmond announced Monday that small businesses in the city can now apply for a grant from the Save Small Business Fund. The fund plans to offer $5,000 grants to as many small employers — between 3 to 20 employees — as possible.
You can find out more info here.
Henrico schools open hotline to address families’ questions
With the coronavirus pandemic prompting school closures in Virginia, questions about what will happen next undoubtedly arise. As a result, Henrico County Public Schools has launched a new hotline for families to call and ask questions.
If you a question for Henrico schools, staff members will answer them seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The number to call is (804) 501-5655.
You can also call the county’s Tech Help Desk — about technology issues with HCPS laptops and Chromebooks — at (804) 328-5207. You can email the help desk at email@example.com.
Virginia DOC said it is increasing COVID-19 testing of inmates
The Virginia Department of Corrections announced Monday, April 20, it is going to increase testing of incarcerated offenders after almost 140 inmates have contracted COVID-19.
The VADOC said it has ordered hundreds of tests and VCU, UVA and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services are sending hundreds more on top of the ones ordered to VADOC facilities.
In addition, the Virginia Department of Health is sending staff to VADOC facilities to administer these tests to inmates.
Here are some tips from VDH on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.