Virginia Updates for August 2

It's Monday, Virginia! Here are your Virginia Updates for August 2 📬


Check out your weekly updates and follow us @we_vote_va to stay up to date on your State!


We have news on;

- Virginia Leg in Session

- Virginia Rent Relief Program

- Virginia Trangender Policy

- James River Contamination

- Vaccine Update

- COVID Data is not in today's post as the Virginia Department of Health has changed the way they are reporting covid information. We will share the data as soon as it becomes available.


🔶Learn more about the COVID-19 and the vaccine @ www.vaccinate.virginia.gov


⚠️FREE COVID-19 TESTING & VACCINES: Counties across Virginia continue to offer free COVID-19 testing and vaccines. As COVID starts to rise again, we will repost all free testing sites and vaccination clinics when they become available on our Instagram and Facebook.


✅Follow us to stay best up to date on all that’s going on in Virginia and find your Virginia Updates every Monday at 5pm!




Virginia Leg in Session


Starting today, the General Assembly will begin a special session to determine how to apply federal funds provided in the American Rescue Plan.


Lawmakers are meeting to elect judges and allocate Virginia’s $4.3 billion share of the federal relief bill. They will be meeting in person for the first time since the 2020 regular session ended.


Here are some of Governor Northam's budget proposal:

  • $935.6M for the Unemployment System

  • $700M for Universal Broadband by 2024

  • $485M for Behavioral and Mental Health

  • $411.5M for Water and Sewer Infrastructure

  • $353M for Small Business Relief

  • $250M for Improvement in School Air Quality

  • $114M for Public Safety

  • $111M for College Affordability and help with Financial Aid

Sources: virginiamercury.com & apnews.com



Virginia Rent Relief Program


Now that a federal freeze on most evictions expired Saturday, officials stressed Virginia’s Rent Relief Program can still help tenants and landlords suffering financial hardship from the pandemic.


Virginia’s Rent Relief Program helps tenants suffering financial hardship from the pandemic.


Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Legal Aid Society, said the Virginia's Rent Relief Program still has enough funding to pay the rent for 115,000 tenants. As of July 14, more than $308 million had been paid out statewide to support more than 48,000 households, according to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.


The state is also requiring courts to grant a 60-day continuance for an eviction proceeding when a tenant can demonstrate that their failure to pay was due to the effects of COVID-19. That protection expires at the end of September.


Sources: dhcd.virginia.gov/rmrp & wtvr.com



Virginia Transgender Policy


The Virginia Department of Education said Friday that local school systems must comply with state law by adopting a transgender equity policy model, approved in April, by the 2021-2022 school year.


Local school boards like in Fairfax County Public Schools voted unanimously to approve a revised version of its “Student Rights and Responsibilities” document, which outlines expectations for student behavior. The new rules mandates that all students receive “safe & equitable access to all school . . . facilities & activities” and that students have “the right to non-disclosure of gender identity and/or sexual orientation.”


While the Bedford County School Board rejected proposed plans for transgender student policy, and opted to stick with the current policy for now. The board will seek legal opinions on the next step.


Sources: washingtonpost.com & wtop.com



James River Contamination


Last week a 40-inch pipe ruptured at the Goochland County Department of Public Utilities, leaking the raw, undiluted sewage into a ditch near River Road that leads to Tuckahoe Creek, according to the state agency.


For the safety of people and pets, the Virginia Department of Health is advising that recreational water activities, such as swimming, wading, tubing, and whitewater kayaking (where submersion in the water is likely), should continue to be avoided over the weekend, according to a news release.


VDH said the advisory will be lifted once bacteria levels in these waters are safe for contact again.


According to VDH, swallowing contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever. Contact with the contaminated water also can cause infections of the ears, nose, throat and skin.


Sources: richmond.com & wtvr.com


COVID & Vaccine Updates


With a more contagious coronavirus mutation on the prowl, pandemic data scientists expect infections to reach April’s levels in about six weeks.


Health experts say vaccination will be the most effective tool at stopping the pandemic. Unvaccinated people have made up 99% of Virginia’s COVID-19 cases and 98% of serious illnesses and deaths since late January, according to VDH.


Additionally, today's COVID data has been delayed due to a change in reporting by the VDH.


Vaccine Summary: As of Monday, August 2

  • Total Doses Administered: 9,724,238

  • People Fully Vaccinated: 4,669,393 or 54.7%

  • People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 5,294,120 or 62%


For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA


Sources: vdh.virginia.gov & pilotonline.com


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See you next week!