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VPM Daily Newscast: April 17, 2020

Man with protest sign in front of video cameras
A protester at the Capital demanded an end to social distancing and business closures. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

During the coronavirus outbreak, VPM is running a daily newscast of our reporting. Ian Stewart hosted this episode. Episodes are recorded at 6 p.m. and released for 7 a.m. the next day, Tuesday through Friday.

In this episode:

Protest Against Business Closures Shuts Down Capital Square
A few dozen people protested Gov. Ralph Northam's executive order shutting down many businesses. Many called it unnecessary. Meanwhile, a new modeling study from Harvard found social distancing may need to continue until 2022.

Virginia Behind 27 States in Requesting Medicaid Flexibility
The federal government has been approving flexibility for states on Medicaid - but disability rights groups say the state is acting too late and doing too little to support people in long-term care.

Historic Unemployment Claims Slow Down
Virginia has seen more than 410,000 new unemployment claims over the last four weeks, but last week, new claims declined by 30%.

Direct Cash Assistance for Some Families
A Richmond nonprofit is giving one-time cash assistance to some families: “It's important that families have access to that cash so they can get exactly what they need. Families have different needs, they have different circumstances.” 

With Schools Closed, Nonprofit Increases Outreach Around Food Assistance
Families who need to find food distribution sites near them should text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 for help.

Virginia General Assembly Meets Through Pandemic
Faced with an unprecedented pandemic, lawmakers will meet in new locations. They’re being asked to wear masks but not ties. And they’ll have to keep a cool six feet of distance that won’t allow for the usual lean-and-whispers.

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