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VPM Daily Newscast: April 1, 2020

Boarded up windows
Workers are relying on unemployment as businesses board up their windows and shut down during the pandemic. Economists say the country is in a recession. (Photo: David Streever/VPM News)

During the coronavirus outbreak, VPM is running a daily newscast of our reporting, hosted by Benjamin Dolle. Episodes are recorded at 6 p.m. and released at 7 a.m. the next day, Tuesday through Friday.

In this episode:

Paychecks Stopping for Hundreds in Chesterfield County
Chesterfield County is furloughing 500 employees in anticipation of a recession. Most of the affected employees are seasonal workers or nearing retirement, and according to the county, the majority work in facilities and departments that are currently closed due to coronavirus.

Discounted Childcare for Healthcare Workers
The Richmond YMCA will begin offering steeply discounted rates on daycare services to essential workers. The program has 500 slots available, but they can expand if needed. To limit coronavirus spread, kids are doing yoga and other activities that limit physical contact.

42 Companies Accused of Price Gouging
After complaints about price gouging, Attorney General Mark Herring issued letters to 42 businesses accused of violating a law that prevents price hikes on food, water, medicine, and medical protective gear during a state emergency. Businesses are required to reply with their pricing before and after the state of emergency.

Business Groups Scramble to Scuttle State Minimum Wage
Business groups and localities are calling on Governor Northam to a minimum wage increase passed earlier this year, but union leaders and policy experts say increasing pay for low-income workers is beneficial to the whole economy during a downturn - especially as minimum wage grocery store employees have become front-line pandemic workers.

Census Day Coming Up
April 1 is Census Day. Census counts are used to determine funding and political representation of a region. So far, 32% of Richmond residents have responded. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline was extended to August 14.

Official Coronavirus Numbers Only ‘Tip of the Iceberg’
Though the number of positive cases of coronavirus in Virginia has quadrupled in the past week, experts say the official count is far below the actual number of cases. To get a more complete picture, officials are tracking symptoms associated with coronavirus, which can be used to plan the public health response.

Related Articles
  1. Virginia Coronavirus Stats Only Capture ‘Tip of the Iceberg’
  2. New YMCA Childcare Sites Serve Kids of Essential Workers
  3. With Recession Looming, Chesterfield Furloughs Hundreds
  4. Recession Could Delay Virginia Minimum Wage Increase
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