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VPM Daily Newscast: April 3, 2020

Composite image of dogs, child playing with them
During the outbreak, animal fosters and adoptions have increased - like that of Mike, a pitbull mix who has found a family. (Photo: Van Vox. Composite Jakob Cordes/VPM News)

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

In this episode:

Disaster Money for Small Business Employees
The City of Richmond is offering interest-free loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses, as part of a $1 million disaster loan program. The conditional loans can only be used to pay employee wages for businesses that are trying to operate through the coronavirus outbreak.

Unemployment Sets Another Record High
A grim milestone - unemployment claims in Virginia reached a record 115,000 filings this week, almost double the previous record set last week. If you need unemployment, file online.

Declared ‘Essential,’ Liquor Stores See Record Sales
When Governor Northam ordered non-essential businesses close, it didn’t apply to state-run ABC stores, which are reporting increased sales. Some question why they’re exempt - experts say they’re both popular and important revenue sources.

Animal Rescues and Fosters up as People Stay Home
Virginia animal shelters are changing their operations to deal with coronavirus, limiting adoptions to appointment only and using telephone screenings. Still, adoptions and fostering have increased.

After COVID-19 Diagnosis, Juvenile Justice Department Increasing Precautions
Two employees tested positive for COVID-19 at a Bon Air Juvenile Detention Center. Officials say the employees had limited contact with youth, and that they are increasing efforts to prevent coronavirus infections among their population.

A Little Italy in Richmond
Inspired by viral videos of quarantined Italians singing on their balconies, Richmond musician Sarah Kane, is organizing an event on Sunday called RVA Sings. Residents are asked to play or sing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” commonly known as “Don’t Worry About a Thing.” Anyone can participate by going out on their porches or balconies this Sunday at noon. 

Stressed? Talk About It, Says Expert
Conflicts will be normal during social distancing, says an expert at the University of Richmond. But that stress is manageable. Thoughtful planning and honest discussion will help families navigate those pain points he says.

*VPM intern Jakob Cordes contributed to this report