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Stay Out of the James Due to Goochland Sewage Release – Update: Stay Out Through the Weekend

It’s a hot day but don’t use the James to cool off.

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Update 7/30:
The VDH says residents should continue to follow the recreational water advisory over the weekend. Additional samples will be taken on August 2 and lab results will be available on August 3.

Originally posted 7/29:

Virginia Department of Health has issued a recreational water advisory for all areas of Tuckahoe Creek starting at River Road.

The advisory comes after a sewer line broke near River Road at approximately 7:30 p.m. According to Goochland County, 300,000 gallons of raw sewage were released into Tuckahoe Creek. The release stopped around 11 p.m. on July 27.

Recreational activities such as swimming, wading, tubing, and whitewater kayaking should be avoided.

The areas where those activities should be avoided include the Eastern and Western Branches of Tuckahoe Creek, and the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland, and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in Richmond.

VDH says activities such as boating, fishing and canoeing can continue with caution to avoid contact with water.

Drinking water is not affected at this time.

The Department of Environmental Quality will be collecting samples on Tuckahoe Creek and the James River to monitor bacteria concentrations.

To prevent recreational water illnesses due to exposure to sewage release events, people should:

  • Avoid contact with the waterbodies noted above and observe advisory signage posted at waterbody access points.
  • Avoid any area of the waterbody where there is water with a foul odor, dead or dying fish, or discolored water.
  • Promptly wash skin with soap and water if you cannot avoid contact with water in the vicinity.
  • Seek medical care and notify your practitioner of the waterbody exposure if you experience adverse health effects after contact with the waterbody.

The end date for the water advisory is unknown at this time.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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VDH announces new QR codes to verify COVID-19 vaccination status

A person vaccinated in Virginia can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to obtain their free vaccination record with QR code, which can then be saved to a phone gallery, printed on paper, or stored in a compatible account.

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The Virginia Department of Health today announced the addition of QR codes – a type of barcode that can be scanned with smartphones – to Virginia COVID-19 vaccination records.

QR codes – short for “quick response” – are commonly used in retail, logistics, and other sectors. The technology allows anyone to show proof of vaccination with a digital or printed QR code instead of a paper card, and without the need for an app. As more and more employers and businesses respond to calls by President Biden and Governor Northam to require that employees and customers be vaccinated, QR codes will help improve the consistency and security of vaccination information while protecting individual privacy.

A person vaccinated in Virginia can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to obtain their free vaccination record with QR code, which can then be saved to a phone gallery, printed on paper, or stored in a compatible account.

QR codes contain the same information as paper records, but in a format that offers greater security and efficiency. Because the QR code is digitally signed by the Virginia Department of Health, it cannot be altered or forged. Information from QR codes is only available if and when the individual chooses to share it. Businesses and employers that choose to verify an individual’s vaccination status can scan QR codes with the free SMART Health Verifier App. Individuals do not need to download an app to use QR codes.

Virginia is now the fifth U.S. state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes, empowering individuals with trustworthy and verifiable copies of their vaccination records in digital or paper form using open, interoperable standards. The framework and standards were developed by VCI, a coalition of more than 800 public and private organizations – including The Mayo Clinic, Boston Children’s Hospital, Microsoft, MITRE, and The Commons Project Foundation.

QR codes are available to anyone whose vaccination record includes a working phone number and is in the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS). Nearly all doses administered in Virginia are reported to VIIS, including pharmacies, physician offices, health department clinics, federally qualified health centers, and community vaccination centers. Some doses administered outside Virginia to Virginia residents may be in VIIS. Doses administered directly by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs are not reported to VIIS. A person whose record cannot be retrieved automatically may call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) for assistance.

With more than 10.2 million doses of vaccine administered so far in Virginia, more than 58% of the population is fully vaccinated. Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated now. To find free vaccines nearby, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.

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Photos: Lee is Down

Due to restrictions on where you could stand we only caught the landing of Lee, not the takeoff.

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After years of commanding Monument Avenue Robert E. Lee was pulled down from his pedestal this morning. As we left he was being cut into sections to be hauled out of the city.

Studio Two Three was on hand and was responsible for the “Giddy Up Loser” graphic you see above.

Previous Monument Removals

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Lee Monument to Come Down on Wednesday

The press release states that there will be limited viewing spots available.

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Road closure begin today and will last through Thursday as the State takes down the last civil war monument on Monument Avenue. The statues will be removed on Wednesday and then on Thursday crews will come back and remove the plaques from the base of the monument and replace the time capsule. The 40-foot base will remain in place for now as the state decides how to deal with the public space.

Once the statue is hoisted off the pedestal, it’s expected to be cut into two pieces for transport, although the final plan is subject to change, said Dena Potter, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of General Services.

Limited viewing opportunities will be available on a first‐come, first‐serve basis but for those that can’t make it down the removal will also be livestreamed through the governor’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, both of which have the handle of @governorVA.

For those thinking of taking their drones out to view the takedown, a word of warning from the VA Capitol Police Twitter.

Per an order from the FAA, drones are temporarily banned over and near the Robert E. Lee monument site. The ban, which covers a 2-nautical-mile radius around the statue, took effect at one minute past midnight Tuesday morning and is to remain in place until 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

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