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VPM Daily Newscast: May 13, 2020

VPM's senior editor, Catherine Komp, is also a gardener - and, a photographer of flowers. She sent in several pictures of flowers for today's newscast - and you can see more on her Instagram feed. (Photo: Catherine Komp)

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 for 7 a.m. the next day, Tuesday through Friday.

In today's newscast:

  • Gov. Ralph Northam announced Northern Virginia can delay entering phase one.
  • Citing a disproportionate impact on working-class people and people of color, African American community leaders are calling on Northam to delay phase one of the reopening state wide.
  • Advocates have called on Northam to expedite the release of incarcerated people, citing their elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 - but Republican state legislators are demanding the halt of any person incarcerated for a violent offense.
  • Zoning laws in Richmond make it nearly impossible to build treatment centers for substance use disorder - despite drug overdoses being the leading cause of accidental death. Richmond City Council approved a study to determine the impact of reclassifying treatment centers, which would make it easier to build treatment centers.
  • In Richmond, a pilot program with the state has distributed about 2,000 masks and bottles of hand sanitizers in the East End. Officials say they plan to expand the program to other neighborhoods to address disparities caused by underlying health conditions and lack of medical access.
  • Two sites are offering free COVID-19 testing in Chesterfield - but officials recommend calling ahead to make an appointment at 804-318-8207.
  • In 1918, Richmond's African American residents faced the flu pandemic, exacerbated by racism and segregation. Some of the same problems remain today - African Americans make up 16 of the 18 coronavirus deaths in the city.

If you have a photo that speaks to what you're experiencing under the coronavirus outbreak, please  send it to us with a note about what the image means to you. Is something unusual happening in your neighborhood? Have a heart warming moment? Let us know.

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