Posted inHow we learn

The local health district curtails contact tracing and expands testing as COVID cases relentlessly climb

Local cases of COVID-19 are now so high that the health district said it’s unable to complete contact tracing for all positive cases — and it’s struggling to keep up with the burgeoning demand for tests. The Blue Ridge Health District announced on Friday that its investigators may be unable to contact “every positive individual […]

Posted inGovernment and public institutions

Charlottesville city manager fires police chief

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney has been fired. City Manager Chip Boyles announced Wednesday evening that he had terminated Brackney’s employment contract in a brief statement, saying only that he is looking for “new leadership direction in the department.” “We will start the search for our next Chief immediately,” said Boyles in the statement. “We […]

Posted inHealth and safety

UVA Health mandates its 2,000 unvaccinated employees to receive COVID vaccines as local community transmission levels become ‘high’

UVA Health plans to require its nearly 2,000 unvaccinated employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1, or face possible termination. The health system announced its new vaccine mandate last week, just days after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine and local COVID transmission levels rose from “substantial” […]

Posted inHealth and safety

Health officials urge everyone to again mask-up as Charlottesville-area experiences another ‘surge’ in COVID cases

They’re no longer required, but local health officials are urging everyone to again wear masks when in public — even fully vaccinated people. COVID-19 cases are surging in the Charlottesville area, and beyond, due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.  Last week, the seven-day moving average of positive cases in the […]

Posted inHealth and safety, How we learn

Albemarle schools will require all teachers and staff either be vaccinated or submit weekly negative COVID tests

All Albemarle County Public School employees will be required this year to either show proof they have received a COVID-19 vaccination or submit to weekly testing. The county School Board passed an ordinance Thursday evening giving Superintendent Matt Haas the go-ahead to collect vaccination records for all staff — something that the district did not […]

Posted inHealth and safety

Wildlife biologists are trying to understand why deadly mange is suddenly spreading through the region’s black bears

Severe — and sometimes deadly — cases of mange have quietly spread through the region’s black bear population during the last couple years. The disease’s sudden and rapid appearance has wildlife biologists puzzled. “Why all of a sudden we’re seeing bears picking up and retaining and being infested by these mites, we don’t really know,” […]