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City staff, Mayor Deanna Reed and Dr. Laura Kornegay of the local health district all agree there is one person central to the city’s response to the pandemic — Paul Helmuth, deputy emergency coordinator of Harrisonburg Fire Department.

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With the clock ticking toward the end of Virginia’s state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, localities are awaiting guidance from the governor’s office on the future of a mask-prohibition law already on the books.

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If James Madison University students want to shed the masks when they return to campus for the fall semester, they’ll have to provide proof they are vaccinated against COVID-19, the school said in an email to students Thursday.

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When there isn’t a pandemic, the commonwealth of Virginia does not allow anyone 16 or older to wear a mask, except in certain health situations, according to Virginia Code 18.2-422

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Availability of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to expand. Local school divisions, hoping to see as many people and students as possible vaccinated, are preparing to hold clinics for 12- to 15-year-olds, while currently offering them to students ages 16, 17 and 18.

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Bridgewater College President David Bushman issued a statement Friday saying all members of the college community will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the 2021-2022 school year. 

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The Central Shenandoah Health District began transitioning its COVID-19 vaccine appointment process from invitation only to public scheduling Monday, according to a Sunday press release from the health department.

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Harrisonburg City Council heard staff’s $293 million proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which does not include any funding for restarting the HHS2 project or expansion or renovation of Middle River Regional Jail, according to presentation documents.

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This week, students in Rockingham County and Harrisonburg are on spring break; five days that normally are a chance for families and teachers to travel and break up the semester.

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As Harrisonburg prepares to present its proposed budget to council later this month, Michael Parks, city spokesperson, said much is yet to be decided on capital projects and potential tax changes.

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Within the first weeks of April, all three regional jails located in the Central Shenandoah Health District will have administered or received COVID-19 vaccinations for its inmates, but the process behind vaccine distribution is complex.

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Yaseen Mousa moves through the halls of Harrisonburg High School, backpack on his shoulder. The freshman weaves in and out of the throngs of students, saying the occasional hello to people he knows.

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When whisperings of the novel coronavirus heightened into tangible fear, Nevin Yoder made a commitment to himself that he would continue his work as a nurse practitioner, come hell or high water. And Yoder stayed true to his word, even when it meant sitting in a summery downpour outside his …

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When the Virginia Department of Health announced inmates in state prisons and local jails qualified for COVID-19 vaccinations under phase 1b, it opened the door for Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Jail and Middle River Regional Jail to vaccinate inmates who were still on lockdown after outbreaks.

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Regal Theatres announced the reopening of its locations across the country and slated the Regal Harrisonburg to open on May 21, according to the company's website.

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At a meeting Monday night, Rockingham County Public Schools Superintendent Oskar Scheikl presented his proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which included a pay raise of 3% for all contracted staff.

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Maggie Hagy had not seen her students in over a year. The Keister Elementary School teacher, unlike many other Harrisonburg City Public School teachers, has been teaching virtually exclusively since the pandemic hit in March of last year.

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An announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday has school divisions mulling what they can do for graduations after having to get creative last year with how they honored graduates.