COVID-19 Pandemic

Shelter in Place until June 10: Governor Northam announcement today extends the "stay at home" mandate through the spring.

Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Carry sanitizer. Stay home or away from group events. Check on family, friends or neighbors who live alone. Stock up on food and necessities, but not at the expense of your neighbors. (The only reason there is a TP shortage is because people have bought far more than they need now)

Check the CDC website for national updates on the pandemic. The Virginia Department of Health site includes the Richmond Department of Health updates.

Facing hunger or homelessness? Download Homeward's Street Sheet for the Richmond Region. Visit for Street Sheets for the surrounding counties.

Call 211 or visit for regional human services information.


UPDATE ON THE ASHLEY WILLIAMS CASE – The court hearing to decide on Ms. Williams' request to be represented by attorney Pauline Ewald will NOT take place this Monday, June 4. What will happen Monday – by email – will be deciding the DATE for the court hearing. We should know that date by Monday afternoon, and will post and send out the information.

An explanation: A June 4 hearing is listed on the Virginia Courts Case Information website (, the standard site reporters use to find out the progress of cases. But Ms. Ewald has told us that an actual hearing will not take place on that day. There has been confusion about hearings in the past, so, just to double-check, I stopped by the court clerk's office yesterday, and was told the same thing.

Hopefully, everyone who had planned to attend a June 4 hearing will be able to make the new date. If Ms. Williams is granted her request, Ms. Ewald will then ask the court to allow Ms. Williams to withdraw her guilty plea and let the case go to trial, under a new judge. If Ms. Williams is denied her right to be represented by the counsel of her choice, the case will go back to Judge Richard Taylor – not for a trial, but for sentencing. Ms. Williams is facing up to 45 years in prison for a crime she did not commit, so a big turnout for the court hearing will be crucial to prevent a major miscarriage of justice.

Look for a public statement to be jointly issued soon by the state NAACP, the Defenders and the Coalition for Justice, a group of longtime Richmond Black activists that is playing the leading role in supporting Ms. Williams right to a fair trial.


The Defenders also are urging everyone to support the courageous Virginia prisoners carrying out a hunger strike at the notorious Red Onion State prison. (See


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