On August 4, UVA announced that move-in and the beginning of in-person classes will be delayed by two weeks, meaning face-to-face instruction will start on September 8. University President Jim Ryan released a video August 7, explaining that the decision to delay was made in response to a rise in Virginia’s coronavirus transmission, as well as “recent volatility in the supply chain for testing.”
The school has instituted additional safety measures in an attempt to minimize spread of the virus, including changes in classroom capacities to accommodate for social distancing, installing plexiglass shields between faculty and students, and enhancing its classroom sanitation protocols. UVA has even begun testing the dorms’ wastewater to try to detect the virus early.
Meanwhile, the state of Virginia has surpassed 100,000 cases since the onset of the pandemic, and cases have increased 16 percent in the last two weeks, according to The New York Times. New daily cases in Virginia reached an all-time high with 2,015 reported cases on August 7—less than one month before students return to Grounds.
Quote of the week
“I promise that’s just black water in my glass. It was a prop only.”
—Jerry Falwell Jr., longtime president of evangelical Liberty University (where alcohol is banned) in an Instagram post in which he posed with his fly down on a yacht. He was placed on indefinite leave shortly thereafter.
In the doghouse
On Sunday, Carrie Pledger, owner of Pawprints Boutique, which sells clothes and accessories for pets, asked an unhoused Black man to move because she felt he was dancing too close to her business’ sign. That request inspired the ire of a handful of nearby Black Youth Action Committee activists, who were handing out free water and snacks. After the activists voiced their concerns, Pledger called the police. Video shows Pledger telling the police, “This is scary to me,” gesturing to the scene in front of her.
If you received a mailing from the Center for Voter Information, be wary. The nonprofit isn’t attempting to scam you, but it is demonstrably incompetent: This month, the organization mailed out a half-million ballot applications directing potential voters to send their ballots back to incorrect registrars’ office addresses, and in 2018, voter registration forms were mailed to 140,000 Virginians who were already registered to vote, reports The Washington Post. The safest way to vote absentee is to register online via the Virginia Department of Elections.
A press release from Democratic congressional candidate Dr. Cameron Webb says his Republican opponent Bob Good has declined to participate in a proposed October debate. The district has been steadily Republican for a decade, but Webb has so far out-fundraised Good by leaps and bounds.
ICE facility outbreak
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration detention center in Farmville, Virginia, is now home to the worst coronavirus outbreak of any detention facility in the United States, reports The Washington Post. Testing last month showed that 70 percent of those detained had the disease, and one person being held there died last week.
This article has been corrected to accurately reflect the timeline of events described in the brief titled “In the dog house.” Pledger called the police only after the activists spoke up, not before.