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VPM Daily Newscast: October 20, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.           

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.       

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Wednesday, October 20, 2021: 

  • Out of over a dozen public school districts in Central Virginia, only two - Richmond and Chesterfield County - have fully adopted policies in line with the Virginia Department of Education’s model for the treatment of transgender students in schools. As Megan Pauly reports, many districts claim they don’t legally have to update their policies any further. 

  • While Virginia is starting to see a slight decline in COVID-19 infections, children now account for more than 20 percent of new cases, according to the Virginia Mercury. Data released this week by the Virginia Department of Health shows over 50 currently active outbreaks in K-12 schools. Over 130,000 children have been infected since March of 2020, with over 3,300 cases in the last two weeks. Data has not yet been given regarding cases in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. VDH recommends everyone 12 years and older get vaccinated.  

  • More veterans in Virginia will have to wait to get approval for their disability claims. As Paul Bibeau, from our partner station WHRV reports, the Department of Veterans Affairs expects its nationwide backlog to surge this month. 

  • Large in-person events held in the past few weeks attracted attendance close to pre-pandemic numbers. Organizers of the State Fair told the  Richmond Times-Dispatch that about 215,000 attendees went this year. Usually, the 10-day festival draws 250,000. It was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. The Richmond Folk Festival was virtual last year. Two weekends ago it drew a crowd of 150,000 which is about the same as usual. VPM is a sponsor of the Richmond Folk Festival. 

  • For many who’ve battled breast cancer, healing often involves a return to normalcy. And that can mean simple cosmetic changes, like the restoration of areolas and nipples following a mastectomy. Whittney Evans spoke to one Richmond woman who wants to make that service more accessible.