Hey VA Friends! Hope everyone is doing well and having a nice week so far. We’re back today sharing your latest Virginia Updates Newsletter with everything you need to know this week about what’s happening in the Commonwealth.
Swipe to learn more about the State Employee Resignations, VA College Tuitions Freezes, the new Amtrak stop and much more!
What do you think about today’s news? Share your thoughts below ⤵️
📰Here’s this week's updates - we have news on;
▪️ State Employees Resign over new Telework Policy
▪️ Virginia Colleges Freeze Tuition
▪️ New Amtrak Stops in Virginia & Washington D.C.
▪️ Virginia Headlines
▪️ COVID-19 Data
▪️ Vaccine Data
🏛 State Employees Resign
More than 300 employees from five state agencies have resigned since Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Virginia’s new telework policy in early May, according to records obtained by 8News.
On May 5, Youngkin updated the state’s telework policy for all state employees to begin working in-person full-time by July 5, a change the governor’s office stressed would provide “options for and supports the use of telework where appropriate.” Youngkin said it would help “balance the demands of government services with the needs of our public servants.”
The stricter telework policy allows employees to submit applications to work remotely, but with various approval processes depending on the number of days per week requested.
Once a week or temporary telework for reasons including family illness, a school closing or poor weather requires an agency head’s approval.
Twice a week requires a cabinet secretary’s approval.
Three or more days a week require approval by the governor’s chief of staff.
State employees were given two weeks to submit telework applications and the administration set a June 3 deadline to review all of the requests, but Youngkin missed that goal. The governor’s office said that some agencies received an overwhelming amount of requests and some workers submitted applications late. Still, the July 5 back-to-work deadline remained in place.
💰 College Tuition Freeze
In a press release Friday, the Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that there are at least ten state colleges that will flatten tuition costs for in-state undergraduates this fall.
The Governor’s office said that some colleges are undecided, like George Mason University, which is reevaluating later this year, and others like Radford University, Christopher Newport University, and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, all of which did not comment or did not have information to provide.
The press release listed these ten colleges that have agreed to Youngkin’s request so far:
Virginia Commonwealth University
James Madison University
Virginia Military Institute
The University of Mary Washington
Old Dominion University
The College of William & Mary
Virginia State University
Norfolk State University
🚆 New Amtrak Stops
New round-trip Amtrak routes started Monday between Washington and two Virginia cities: Norfolk and Roanoke.
The additions will bring to eight the number of state-funded round trips from the nation's capital, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The extra train to Norfolk will be the third round trip to the area, according to the newspaper. It will depart Norfolk at 1 p.m. and arrive in Washington in a little over 4.5 hours. A new southbound train will depart Washington at 12:05 p.m.
Amtrak already runs one morning trip from Roanoke to D.C. and an evening return trip. Starting Monday, a new train will leave Washington for Roanoke at 8:05 a.m., and a Washington-bound train will leave Roanoke at 4:30 p.m., arriving shortly before 9:30 p.m.
Virginians can expect stops in Alexandria, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg, according to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority.
📰 Virginia Headlines
Wavy News - New case of presumed monkeypox identified in Virginia. According to the VDH, the new case is an adult male resident of Northwestern Virginia. The patient is currently isolated and the health department is identifying and monitoring the patient’s close contacts. This case brings the total number of cases in the commonwealth up to 27.
WTVR News - Congressman calls for abortion ban in Virginia: 'Republicans should not be negotiating'. More than 100 people turned out for the rally organized by Virginia's 5th District Congressman Bob Good in a push for a complete ban on abortions in Virginia. Bob Good and supporters criticized Republicans looking to compromise on the issue as it is now up to states to decide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The Roanoke Times - Virginia's first casino is officially open for business at Bristol. The Bristol Casino will be open 24/7, offering 870 slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook. The temporary location has 600 employees. It's the first to open in the state under a 2020 law that allowed developers to build casinos in five cities if they secured voter approval.
😷 COVID-19 Data In Virginia:
The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 1,898,849. The 1,898,849 consists of 1,354,221 confirmed and 544,628 probable cases. There are 20,746 COVID-19 deaths, and Virginia’s 7-day positivity rate is now at 23.0%.
💉 Vaccine Summary: As of Monday, July 11
Total Doses Administered: 16,282,528
People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 7,024,785 or 81.8%
% of Adults (18+) Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 92.3%
People Fully Vaccinated: 6,157,249 or 71.7%
% of Adults (18+) Fully Vaccinated: 80.9%
People Vaccinated with Booster / Third dose: 3,510,503
For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA source: vdh.virginia.gov
Thank you all for joining us this week!
Please be kind and respect one another, we are all in this together.
- María Reynoso, Editor-in-Chief