Good morning, Historic Triangle! Another week is underway, and it’s looking like we’re in for some beautiful weather, with highs in the 80s most days.
Again this week, you’ll notice that an events section has been added in after your regular news update. If you have an event you’d like me to consider including in a future newsletter, email me at [email protected].
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There’s a lot going on, but The Triangle is breaking down your top local, statewide and national stories into a quick, 5-minute read. Let’s get started.
1. William & Mary announced a change in Covid-19 protocols after reporting more than 200 new active cases.
- The spike in cases comes just two weeks into the start of the semester. Of the total number of cases, 202 are among students and six are among staff, according to the university’s Covid-19 dashboard.
- 93 percent of W&M’s students and 90 percent of employees are fully vaccinated, the university reports.
- 94.5 percent of the new cases are among vaccinated students, but most cases appear to have spread through unmasked interactions, especially off-campus, according to The Virginia Gazette.
- The new safety measures include an outdoor mask mandate, a transition to virtual or outdoor meeting formats for student organizations and a switch to “to go” dining only.
- All students who test positive must make arrangements for an off-campus quarantine.
2. Historic Triangle residents and leaders gathered in remembrance of 9/11 on Saturday.
- About 100 people gathered at the somber, socially distanced event held on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 at the Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse, WYDaily reports.
- Community leaders – including Williamsburg Mayor Doug Pons and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation CEO Cliff Fleet – delivered poignant remarks. Bruton Parish Episcopal Church Rector Rev. Christopher Epperson led the benediction.
- The College of William & Mary also held several other events to commemorate 9/11.
- The W&M events included rolling out a 9/11-related museum exhibit, placing a memorial wreath in the Sunken Garden, and ringing the Wren Bell in honor of the seven alumni killed on 9/11 and two alumni and one student killed in service after 9/11.
1. Covid-19 case numbers in Virginia are continuing to climb.
- As of Monday, September 13, the seven-day moving daily average increased to 3,500 cases and 23 reported deaths per day, according to WAVY News.
- There are more than 2,100 Covid-19 patients in the hospital currently. Of those, 303 were on a ventilator as of September 10, when that data was last reported by Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
- The state reported over 4,470 new Covid-19 cases in a single day on both Wednesday and Friday last week.
- A total of 811,079 Covid-19 cases and 12,089 deaths have been reported in the state as of September 13.
- 65.4 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 58 percent are fully vaccinated.
2. State finances are outpacing expectations for fiscal year 2022.
- A new revenue report issued shows that tax collections were 18.9 percent higher than in 2020 as a result of higher employment and more sales revenue from re-opened businesses, WRIC 8 reports.
- The state only collects income and sales in August, but the total revenue from those taxes can serve as a key indicator of the state’s economic wellbeing.
- The state has seen a 5.2 percent revenue increase since July 1 – the start of the fiscal year – which is far above the 8 percent decline previously projected.
1. Hurricane Nicholas made landfall, pummeling coastal Texas and Louisiana with heavy rain.
- The storm strengthened to a hurricane and made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas early Tuesday morning.
- The hurricane is expected to bring up to 18 inches of rain to some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
- The NHC is warning of also warning of dangerous storm surges and intense winds.
- As of 4 am, more than 266,000 customers were without power in Texas and over 95,000 had lost power in Louisiana, according to the poweroutage.us utility tracker map.
2. Secretary Blinken defended the Biden Administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal Monday.
- Facing heavy criticism from Republicans, Blinken was pressed about the handling of the Kabul airport evacuations as well as the suicide bombing, which killed 13 U.S troops and dozens of Afghan civilians.
- Blinken argued that the Biden administration inherited a deadline for withdrawal without a plan for carrying it out at a U.S Congressional hearing, Reuters reports.
- During the contentious five-hour hearing, Blinken reiterated numerous Biden administration talking points and blamed former President Trump for the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
- “We made the right decision in ending America’s longest-running war,” Blinken said during the hearing.
3. New CDC data finds severe Covid-19 breakthrough infections are on the rise.
- The report found that at least 11,440 individuals were hospitalized with breakthrough infections and 2,674 died as of September 7, according to Newsweek.
- The new numbers are a stark reminder of the importance of continuing to remain vigilant amid surging cases of the highly infectious Delta variant.
- Last week, the CDC also acknowledged that the Delta variant has caused breakthrough infections to be more widespread and severe than originally expected.
- According to data gathered by the New York Times, breakthrough infection hospitalizations increased by about 3,600 and deaths rose by 1,000 in just one month.
- Public health officials continue to urge people to get the vaccine, especially as last week’s CDC report confirmed that unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die of the virus than those who are fully vaccinated.
Events This Week
Homeschool Program Days – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. 9 am – 5 pm. Daily, all week. Registration required; see website for details.
Nao Santa Maria Visits Yorktown. Riverwalk Landing Pier in Yorktown. Sept. 15-19, 10 am-7 pm. Free self-guided tours offered Wednesday and Thursday; tickets required September 17-19 ($15 for adults; $5 for kids). Masks required.
Howl-O-Scream – Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 17-19. 2-10 pm. Tickets required. Times vary based on park hours; see website for details.
Thursday, Sept. 16
Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concert Series: The BJ Griffin Band – Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Free.
Saturday, Sept. 18
Musical Instrument Open House. Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. 10-11:30 am. Free.
Yorktown Market Days – Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. 8 am-12 pm.
Williamsburg Farmers Market – 410 W. Francis St. in Williamsburg. 8 am-12 pm.
Original Structures of Yorktown Tour – Walking tour. Starts at Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. $10.