Nearly 11 months in, here’s how local businesses have survived the pandemic and what they’ve learned
When the pandemic hit the United States last March and government orders closed down many of them temporarily, most local business owners were trapped in a kind of economic limbo. To survive, some businesses shifted their business models. Others pursued government loans to keep employees on the payroll. But, above all, many local Harrisonburg businesses learned they could count on the community’s support.
Even when 2020 has been downright awful, there have been acts of kindness and opportunities that have bound Harrisonburg families and the community together.
The Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail so far hasn’t seen any COVID-19 cases among inmates or staff. But some are concerned about the degree of mask wearing.
Harrisonburg City Public Schools will receive an additional $1.1 million in federal CARES Act funds to recoup costs incurred during the pandemic, as Chief Finance Officer Tracy Shaver announced to the Harrisonburg School board in a work session on Tuesday.
About one tenth of Harrisonburg city students started in-person classes on Monday, as a very new sort of fall semester begins. The division moved almost entirely to virtual learning for the start of the school year, while still allowing a fraction of families the option to send their children into school buildings – those with kids who would be most disadvantaged by distance learning, such as English language learners and students with special education needs.
Volunteers harness ingenuity and 3-D printers to make 2,800 face shields for health workers and first responders
Donating 1,200 clear plastic face shields to Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital was already a big undertaking, but a local group of volunteers with access to 3-D printers has kept going — producing protective equipment to donate to organizations and first responders, including more than 250 face shields to the Harrisonburg Fire Department.
Sentara RMH has plans to handle additional COVID-19 cases but stays quiet on testing, equipment questions
Harrisonburg has 87 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday – the most out of all localities in the Central Shenandoah Health District, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health. Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital has been preparing for the increase, while implementing new procedures, such as aggressive screening of visitors and, according to a spokeswoman, by preparing areas within the hospital for additional treatment areas should the region see an even sharper spike in cases.