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Expect delays on GRTC today as bus operators take leave to get COVID-19 testing

For the second time this week, GRTC is cautioning all riders that there may be significant service disruptions or cancelations Friday while some bus Operators take paid leave to be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 after GRTC’s first positive Operator case.

RVAHub Staff

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For the second time this week, GRTC is cautioning all riders that there may be significant service disruptions or cancelations Friday while some bus Operators take paid leave to be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 after GRTC’s first positive Operator case. As staff await results, which can take a day or two, GRTC requests that customers prepare to make alternative arrangements for all essential trips through this weekend.

The delays follow a disruption on Monday in which about half of drivers called out due to failure of the transit employees’ union coming to an agreement over hazard pay.

GRTC plans to ensure there is at least one bus in service on all routes Friday, but that means many routes have hourly service. Bus resources continue to be prioritized to high-ridership routes to encourage social distancing on-board.

During the day if GRTC does not have enough Operations staff on duty to put at least minimal service on most routes, GRTC may need to cancel fixed-route service entirely. If this happens, GRTC will put on-demand service in place for urgent and essential trips to medical facilities that cannot be met due to canceled transit services. This will only be available if bus service is significantly disrupted or canceled, and the number for on-demand service will be released with a new service disruption notice.

All critical health care trips on GRTC CARE service will be met. All service impacts will be posted on GRTC’s website and communicated through Customer Service at 804-358-4782.

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Downtown

Stoney administration commits $25-50 million for commemoration, memorialization of “complete history”

The first investment of $3.5M will fund the Shockoe Area Memorial Park campus.

RVAHub Staff

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Surrounded by members of the Shockoe Alliance on Tuesday, Mayor Stoney committed to funding a capital improvement budget amendment of between $25 and 50 million in the city’s five-year CIP plan specifically for the commemoration and memorialization of what he calls “Richmond’s complete history.”

The mayor asserted that the shared priority of the Shockoe Alliance and city leadership is embracing and “telling the truth about Richmond’s history, centralizing the turmoil, resistance, resilience, and triumphs of Black Richmond.”

“Black lives built this city. Black lives have defined Richmond’s history. They matter,” Stoney said. “The story of Black lives should span our skyline, our landscape, and our textbooks accordingly.”

Priority investments will include the Shockoe Area, various African American burial grounds, and the Slave Trail. The effort will begin with a $3.5 million investment in the Shockoe Area Memorial Park.

The memorial park, a vision developed by the Shockoe Alliance and informed by decades of community work in the area, will use greenspace and structural sites such as a heritage center or museum to create a space of memorialization, education, and atonement.

The space will encompass the African American Burial Ground, the Devil’s Half Acre site, and the two blocks east of the railroad tracks that may constitute a future archeological site.

“In this city, we care about our history. We are our history, no matter how painful that may be to confront, and we are committed to telling our full story,” said Mayor Stoney. “That story, and so rightfully that investment, begins here. On the ground of Shockoe, and in honor of our ancestors.”

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Crime

Richmond reschedules National Night Out events due to COVID-19 concerns

Events will be tentatively rescheduled for October 6th, 2020.

RVAHub Staff

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Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Richmond Police Department is rescheduling this year’s National Night Out.

National Night Out will be tentatively held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

“We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 conditions in Richmond,” police said in a release. “Please watch RPD’s social media sites for updates.”

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police‐community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

As we get closer to the rescheduled date, RPD will provide updates on the status of 2020 National Night Out.

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Downtown

Daily Planet pleads with community for water donations for homeless during heatwave

The nonprofit needs supplies to distribute to the homeless population during the hottest time of year.

RVAHub Staff

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With Richmond already experiencing its first significant heatwave of the summer, and with more expected in August, Daily Planet Health Services (DPHS) is asking those that are able to, to donate bottled water and pre-packaged, single-serve snacks to the nonprofit. The supplies will be distributed directly to the homeless living around Richmond, helping to ensure this population has the necessary resources to stay hydrated and nourished during the hottest part of the summer.

This week (July 27-31), a DPHS employee will be set up to receive donations in the parking lot of the 517 W Grace St parking lot from 8:30 a.m.-noon. If someone would like to donate water or snacks outside of that timeframe, they can call the nonprofit at 804-783-2505 x 230 to set up a donation.

74 percent of DPHS’ patients are at or below the poverty level, and as the Healthcare for the Homeless Grantee, the nonprofit serves the region’s homeless. Typically, summer and winter months are the most difficult for these populations, but given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, they now have even fewer resources available to them.

“With so many of the traditional places that our homeless population utilizes to cool off and hydrate during the hot summer months – like libraries, restaurants and community centers – either closed or drastically limiting capacity, many are left without an avenue to escape the heat,” said Taylor Garrett, outreach coordinator at Daily Planet Health Services. “We’ve unfortunately already seen firsthand this summer the dire impact the heat can have on the homeless population, and we’re hopeful that the Richmond community can come together to help us get nourishment to those that need it most.”

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