Coronavirus coverage

Coronavirus coverage

We’re continually covering the impact of the novel coronavirus on our community–this page includes all our prior coverage, including a continually updated list of event cancellations.

The first case of COVID-19 in Charlottesville was confirmed on March 16. As of April 7, there were 100 reported cases in the Charlottesville area, and 1 death. Statewide, there were 3,333 cases and 63 deaths. See the latest Virginia DOH numbers, including a map of cases, here.

On 3/30, Governor Ralph Northam ordered everyone to stay home unless they are seeking medical attention, buying food or other essential supplies, caring for a family member, or “engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise.” The executive order—in effect until at least June 10—also required all public beaches and campgrounds to close, and allowed in-person gatherings of 10 or more people to be punishable by a Class 1 misdemeanor.

On 3/23, Governor Ralph Northam ordered the closure of all schools until the end of the academic year, and many nonessential businesses—including gyms, barber shops, and salons—for at least 30 days.

On Tuesday 3/17, the city and county schools’ nutrition programs began providing to-go breakfast and lunch bags for students who rely on the public schools for breakfast and lunch each day. Delivery sites and more info at

The University of Virginia has announced all classes will be moving online until further notice, and has urged students to return home rather than stay in Charlottesville. The University’s Final Exercises will not happen as scheduled, as the school looks for “creative alternatives.” On March 17, the school closed all gyms, libraries, and other facilities, and promised to “honor existing commitments to compensate” its employees “for the foreseeable future.”

For more local news updates, follow us on Twitter, and check out Charlottesville Tomorrow’s page here.

Class dismissed: School closings intensify equity issues

With Virginia’s K-12 schools shuttered for the remainder of the academic year, our city and county districts have moved into uncharted territory: figuring out not only how to teach thousands of students outside of the classroom, but also making distance learning accessible and equitable for all. The districts say they are still developing formal distance […]

In brief: Win for workers, dorm drama, and more

Shielding up While many businesses have been forced to close due to the coronavirus, grocery stores are busier than ever—and their employees have had to continue showing up for work, potentially putting themselves at risk. On March 31, some Whole Foods workers stayed home in a nationwide “sick out” to protest a lack of protections, […]

Whiskey, guns, and SpongeBob: The University of Virginia goes digital

  “I’m going to kill a fifth during this lecture,” announced one student, holding a bottle of whiskey aloft as his classmates tuned in for a Zoom meeting of a UVA data science class. “I can hear you,” the professor said back. As coronavirus has swept the nation, universities across the country have had to go […]

In brief: Stay home

Settle in “Our message today is very clear: That is to stay home,” said Governor Ralph Northam at the beginning of a March 30 press conference. On March 27, the governor issued Executive Order 53, which shut down schools for the rest of the year, closed all “non-essential” businesses, and asked everyone to social distance, […]

‘It could suck so much more’: A fourth-year’s attempt at positivity

By Dan Goff “Remember when I said I doubted the university would move classes online because it would be a logistical nightmare? Well, I was only half right. UVA will and has moved classes online. And it’s a logistical nightmare.” This quote, from an email sent by one of my professors, nicely sums up the […]

How to track a virus

You can’t stop coughing and are running a fever. It’s becoming harder for you to breathe, and you can barely muster the energy to get out of bed. A glance at the CDC’s website confirms your greatest fear: You may have the coronavirus. What happens from there? We spoke with Ta’Kindra Westbrook, a disease intervention […]

Kuttner’s clock: Time running short for RV quarantine facility

Entrepreneur and inventor Oliver Kuttner has been known to step up in a crisis. In 2005, he loaded the Starlight Express, a Charlottesville-New York luxury bus service he co-founded, and headed south with supplies to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.  Now Kuttner has a plan to house those who are infected with COVID-19 […]

Ground zero: Local hospitals, health department prepare for coronavirus spike

In just a matter of days, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the Thomas Jefferson Health District has jumped from one to 16, including four in the City of Charlottesville and six in Albemarle County. While the first case was initially thought to be travel-related, it’s now unclear how the individual, […]

In brief: City changes, missing masks, budget burdens, and more

Suddenly, a new normal Just two weeks ago—two weeks ago!—our schools were open, our basketball team was eyeing a tournament run, and our restaurants were dusting off the patio furniture for long evenings of springtime outdoor dining. But thanks to the spread of the infectious and dangerous novel coronavirus, Charlottesville has had to quickly adjust […]

Taking covers: Your social distancing reading list 

With the cancellation of the Virginia Festival of the Book, and recommendations to practice social distancing, there’s never been a better time to pick up some extra reading material. While we’re disappointed that we won’t get to hear from these authors in person, their work and words are still well worth your time. Whether you’re […]

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