Harrisonburg businesses, organizations and other service providers made gut-wrenching decisions over the past 48 hours to dramatically scale back their interactions with the public. That has meant shifting to carry-out-only for restaurants, cutting back on hours of operations, limiting visitors to the hospital and, in many cases, closing up for the next couple weeks — at least.
Monday updates: Public library to close starting Tuesday; Parks and rec makes closures; District Court announces postponements; Sentara limits hospital visitation; EMU sends students home after person reports flu-like symptoms
Sentara Healthcare announced Monday that regular visitation at its hospitals, including RMH Medical Center, will end until “the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.”
Harrisonburg has one resident who is presumed to have COVID-19. Meanwhile, the public schools and universities are closed to students for the next couple weeks — at least. Employees at businesses and now JMU are being told to stay home if they can. The city has declared a state of emergency in order to apply for federal financial help to cover costs associated with managing the pandemic. And businesses already are feeling the pain of fewer customers and are bracing for that to get worse as area college students don’t return to town.
The Citizen will be updating as closings and other announcements as they are made.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Harrisonburg vote in today’s Democratic primary, according to unofficial results tallied at the city registrar’s office. Sanders, who was leading the delegate count heading into Super Tuesday, earned 2,590 of the 6,474 total votes cast.
Harrisonburg has inspired a surprising number of playwrights, TV and screen writers in Hollywood and New York City. The story began with JMU’s first playwrighting course taught in 1975, when Professor Roger Allen Hall joined the faculty of the new theatre program. Just four years later his student Phoef Sutton won the first National Norman Lear Comedy Award for his play “The Pendragon Institute.”
For many people, climate change is the biggest existential threat humans face. While many of the biggest advocates for action are the young, closer to home one equally impassioned person doing all he can is Cal Redekop, age 94. Being in his tenth decade hasn’t stopped him from curbing his carbon footprint to help preserve the environment.
The waning days of the year offer an opportunity for reflection — a quick check of what happened in the previous 12 months and how the community changed for better or worse. Of all the stories The Citizen published in 2019, these were the most shared, read and buzzed-about of the year.