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City, community partners to launch emergency childcare centers for essential personnel

The first center located at Downtown YMCA opens today and will admit children of medical personnel.

RVAHub Staff

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On Friday, outside the Downtown YMCA, Mayor Stoney announced his administration has partnered with the YMCA of Greater Richmond to provide emergency childcare to elementary and middle school-aged children of essential medical personnel in Richmond.

The site at the Downtown YMCA will open today, Monday, and will be the first of several emergency childcare centers across the city. The centers will care for the children in grades Kindergarten through 8 of essential personnel for the duration of school closures due to COVID-19. Healthcare providers will work directly with the YMCA to register the children of essential employees eligible to participate in the program.

“When Superintendent Kamras made the tough but correct decision to close Richmond Public Schools last week, it was immediately clear to us that the city needed to gather its partners around the table and ensure the city’s most essential workforce wouldn’t have to worry about childcare while they’re on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Mayor Stoney.

“The YMCA of Greater Richmond is honored to serve the families of our healthcare personnel during this unprecedented time,” said Tim Joyce, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond. “Our quality staff team is looking forward to giving these families the comfort of knowing their children are in a safe environment with professional caregivers who are dedicated to their community.”

The YMCA’s sites will serve medical and healthcare personnel. The city intends to open additional childcare sites at Richmond Public Schools facilities in the coming weeks, pending approval from the Virginia Department of Social Services. Those expanded sites will cater to other essential government and non-government personnel, including first responders, sanitation and solid waste workers, bus drivers, and grocery store and pharmacy staff, among others. As the emergency childcare program expands to RPS sites, the city will partner with employers to identify and invite eligible participants.

The Community Foundation, through its newly-launched Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, has committed to supporting the launch and operation of these emergency childcare centers.

“The Community Foundation views the YMCA of Greater Richmond as a high-impact partner in their work. We are honored to support their daily programs as well as special initiatives like this one,” said Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer for the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

The childcare centers will adhere to the most recent guidelines from the Virginia Departments of Health and Social Services. Precautions include a maximum child-to-staff ratio of nine to one, frequent temperature checks and thorough cleaning with CDC-approved disinfectants.

Children experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or residing in a household with anyone experiencing symptoms will not be admitted.

“None of the essential workforce should have to choose between knowing their kids are safe and keeping our community running,” said Mayor Stoney. “That’s why I charged my administration with providing this network of support. I’m excited to build it out.”

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Governor Ralph Northam, First Lady Pam Northam both test positive for COVID-19

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pam Northam have both tested positive for coronavirus after coming in close contact with a staffer who was showing symptoms. The First Lady is experiencing mild symptoms, according to a release, while the Governor remains asymptomatic.

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pam Northam have both tested positive for coronavirus after coming in close contact with a staffer who was showing symptoms. The First Lady is experiencing mild symptoms, according to a release, while the Governor remains asymptomatic.

From the Governor’s Office:

On Wednesday evening, Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam were notified that a member of the Governor’s official residence staff, who works closely within the couple’s living quarters, had developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Both the Governor and First Lady received PCR nasal swab tests yesterday afternoon, and both tested positive. Governor Northam is experiencing no symptoms. First Lady Pamela Northam is currently experiencing mild symptoms. Both remain in good spirits.

Consistent with guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Governor and First Lady will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms. The Governor is in constant contact with his cabinet and staff and will fulfill his duties from the Executive Mansion.

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” said Governor Northam. “The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of utmost importance to Pam and me, and we are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that everyone is well taken care of. We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us—and most importantly, for your fellow Virginians—is to take this seriously.”

The Governor and First Lady are working closely with VDH and the Richmond Heath Department to trace their close contacts. The Executive Mansion and Patrick Henry office building will be closed for deep cleaning this morning. The work of the Governor’s office continues remotely and uninterrupted.

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Downtown

Dominion Energy Christmas Parade Marching Online this Year

The 37th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will shift to a television-only Christmas special.

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From Facebook

Due to the unprecedented circumstances this year and the responsibility to make the safest decision for our community, the 37th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will shift to a television-only Christmas special! While we will miss seeing everyone on streets this year, we are so excited about the opportunity to bring Richmond’s favorite holiday tradition to you in the comfort of your own home!

Tune in to WTVR CBS 6 News on Saturday, December 5 at 10 am to watch all-new performances from your favorite entertainment groups, heart-warming stories focused on celebrating our Richmond community, “best of” clips from past parades featuring giant helium balloons and colorful floats, and even a special appearance by Legendary Santa himself! You will not want to miss the must-see television event of the holiday season! #RVAparade2020

NOTE TO PARADE PARTICIPANTS: Spots in this year’s Christmas special are limited. Please stay tuned for more information via email next week.

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Arts & Entertainment

The Valentine’s popular Controversy/History series returns to address 2020’s impact

The Valentine’s popular conversation series will return virtually on Tuesday, October 6, co-hosted by Valentine Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon. The free, five-event series will focus on the evolving impacts of 2020, a year full of unexpected challenges and uncomfortable conversations, all amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and massive social change.

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The Valentine’s popular conversation series will return virtually on Tuesday, October 6, co-hosted by Valentine Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon. The free, five-event series will focus on the evolving impacts of 2020, a year full of unexpected challenges and uncomfortable conversations, all amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and massive social change.

“The Richmond community that entered 2020 is not the same community we find ourselves a part of today,” Valentine Director Martin said. “2020 has truly been a year of historic change, and it only makes sense to use our conversation series Controversy/History to examine those changes, how they have impacted the people of the Richmond Region and what we can do as a community to move forward together.”

Each virtual event will include an exciting lineup of guest speakers discussing contemporary issues and how 2020 has either upended or reinforced Richmond’s history, followed by questions from the audience and action steps for those inspired to get involved.

Here is a complete list of dates and topics:

October 6, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Voting

November 3, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Mental Health

December 1, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Business

January 5, 2021, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2021 and Education

February 2, 2021, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2021 and Activism

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