Get your Virginia Updates for September 27 📬
We’re coming to you from Richmond, VA! And in this week’s newsletter, we’re sharing information on the new Railway expansion Governor Northam announced this morning. Also today, learn more about the State Fair of Virginia and how you can get your tickets, Governor Northams’s Jobs Tour, the Virginia Unemployment Commission pauses payments again, and finally gets your weekly update on Vaccine and COVID data in Virginia.
Final note, thanks to @seftoncoffeecofor having us! They had a great selection of coffee/teas and their outdoor seating area is perfect to get your work done. No sponsored, just enjoyed our visit 😊
Here are this week's Virginia Updates. We have news on;
▪️State Fair of Virginia 🎡
▪️Governor Northam on Tour
▪️Unemployment on Pause
🗳Early Voting is in full swing! You can vote early in-person at your local registrar's office or by absentee. Learn more about voting early by visiting the link in our bio!
✅ Follow us @we_vote_va to stay best up to date on all that’s going on in Virginia!
Governor Ralph Northam announced today the launch of expanded rail service from Richmond to DC.
The Amtrak Northeast Regional Route 51 will now offer early morning service from Main Street Station, getting travelers from Downtown Richmond to Washington D.C. when the workday begins or to New York for a lunchtime meeting.
The new train is the first expansion of service under Governor Northam's Transforming Rail in Virginia program to significantly expand rail infrastructure throughout the state.
The newly expanded service has stops at a variety of destinations in the Northeast corridor. Travelers can choose from three daily departure times, two in the morning and one in the evening.
Tickets are now available for purchase. Amtrak worked with a medical director and partnered with the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health to ensure proper health and safety protocols were implemented.
State Fair of Virginia 🎡
The State Fair of Virginia is back at the Meadow Event Park after taking a year off due to the pandemic.
The fair in Doswell just north of Richmond started Friday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, October 3.
Tickets are $15 if bought online for those 5 and older and kids 4 and under are admitted free. Tickets are $16 at the gates and veterans and active duty military receive a $3 discount.
There are some changes this year that visitors may notice from past years. Organizers said things will be more spread out around the park, and they've added a lot more green space. With that, many fan favorites have returned including lots of entertainment, food and livestock competitions. And yes, there will be turkey legs to eat.
Parking is free this year, unless you would like to pay for closer parking. For more info on the fair, visit the link in our bio.
Governor Northam on Tour
Governor Ralph Northam is on a 12-day jobs and investment tour across Virginia.
Northam began the tour on September 23 in Alberta where he announced the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) funding to build a new 45,000 sq. foot produce facility that is expected to create 40 new jobs.
After making several stops across the commonwealth, Northam will end the tour on October 4 in St. Paul for the Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual conference. The conference is expected to bring representatives from 13 other states together to present the new strategic plan and discuss ways to boost the region’s economy.
Officials say the Northam administration has brought in $48.2 billion in capital investment and created over 91,500 new jobs, including over $8.4 billion and 21,500 jobs in distressed communities.
Unemployment on Pause
The Virginia Employment Commission has paused its collection of overpayments to unemployed Virginians.
Secretary of Labor Megan Healy said that as a result of funding shortfalls before the pandemic, the VEC lacked the staff to handle unemployment claims, during which the agency had to close its offices due to the pandemic.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) staff estimated a growing backlog of 100,000 additional disputed claims requiring examination and possibly one million claim issues to resolve.
Virginia has hired more than 200 contract employees and 137 state employees to adjudicate disputed claims. The VEC is also preparing to turn on a new IT system on Oct. 1 for customers to track claims as part of the modernization program delayed last year because of the pandemic.
Governor Northam continues to push vaccines, saying almost all new serious cases since summer began have been in people who are not vaccinated.
He also said that Virginia’s vaccination rate is 14th in the nation, saying that’s good, considering Virginia is the 12th largest state, and most states with higher vaccination percentages are smaller than Virginia. Becker's Hospital Review puts Virginia at 15th.
Vaccine Summary: As of Monday, September 27
Total Doses Administered: 10,532,362
People Fully Vaccinated: 5,127,636 or 60.1%
% of Adults (18+) Fully Vaccinated: 71.5%
People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 5,765,519 or 67.5%
% of Adults (18+) Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 80.2%
For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA
The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 857,852. The 857,852 consists of 642,730 confirmed and 215,122 probable cases. There are 12,592 COVID-19 deaths, and Virginia’s 7-day positivity rate is now at 9.2%.