Posted inHealth and safety

UPDATE: Local health district is taking appointments for Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots

COVID-19 booster shots received final federal authorization on Thursday.The approval is limited to people who are 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they contract COVID-19, and people whose jobs put them at increased risk of exposure.The federal agencies say those […]

Posted inHealth and safety

Final approval on COVID vaccine booster shots may be coming later this week

While the Virginia Health Department continues planning to roll out long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine “booster shots,” it now appears those shots will only be available to certain higher risk individuals. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Friday voted to authorize boosters of the Pfizer vaccine to individuals 65 and older and those who are […]

Posted inHow we learn

Without enough bus drivers, teachers, school staff and community members are shuttling children to school — and there’s no immediate end in sight

Weekday mornings in Charlottesville begin with a city-wide scramble to get children to school. Because of a massive bus driver shortage, the bus system that serves Charlottesville City Schools is operating at just over 40% capacity. It’s about to get a little better: Following a major push to hire more drivers, that capacity should jump […]

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 inHow we learn

Meet Charlottesville City Schools new superintendent — he promises transparency and to focus on equity

Charlottesville City Schools has named its new superintendent. Royal A. Gurley will take the helm Oct. 4. “There’s a lot of great work happening here,” Gurley told a group of reporters Thursday afternoon. “I just felt strongly when I saw this search … that a lot of my values were aligned closely to the things […]

Posted inGovernment and public institutions, Health and safety

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 Department ramping up to offer COVID-19 booster shots

Local health officials are postponing the release of plans for how they intend to provide booster shots to the nearly 150,000 fully vaccinated people in the Blue Ridge Health District until it receives final federal authorization. Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it’s recommending all vaccinated individuals receive booster shots […]

Posted inGovernment and public institutions

Albemarle joins Charlottesville in banning guns in parks, government buildings

It is now illegal to carry a gun on property owned or managed by Albemarle County. The county’s Board of Supervisors on Wednesday unanimously passed its hotly debated firearms ban — making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a gun in any of the county’s parks, community centers or buildings. The Charlottesville City Council […]

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 […]