Coronavirus Toll, Heroes, Mandates: Top VA News Stories Of 2020

Michael O'Connell

VIRGINIA — 2020 was a wild year. From the election to the calls for racial justice and an ending of police violence, Virginians had a lot to debate and think about this year. But, the big story, the one that dominated all aspects of our daily lives was the coronavirus pandemic.

From the early reports of COVID-19 popping up in our communities, to the response of state and local officials, to the impact on small businesses and schools, to the arrival of the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in December, Patch reporters have done their best to cover all aspects of this crisis.

Here are some of the top statewide stories we covered in 2020:

VA Pastor, Musician Dies From Coronavirus He Had Questioned

A 66-year-old Virginia resident who fell ill with the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, on a trip to New Orleans died March 25 at a hospital in Concord, North Carolina. The death of Landon Spradlin, an accomplished musician and a pastor, has drawn viral attention online, in part because Spradlin had questioned whether media coverage of the disease was overblown.

2nd-Grader Gives 6K Masks, Caps To Hospital Staff: Coronavirus

A second-grade boy from Ashburn was spending his time off from school trying to come up with ideas to help front-line health care workers who are taking care of a growing number of patients sick with the new coronavirus, or COVID-19. Zohaib Begg, 7, hit the jackpot when he began going to local hotels in the Ashburn area to see if they had any shower caps to donate to hospitals.

Mask Mandate Policy To Be Revealed By Virginia Governor

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam plans to announce a new policy in May on the wearing of masks in public to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. While certain protective measures are strongly recommended by the Virginia Department of Health, wearing face masks in public had been largely voluntary.

Manassas Woman Tests Positive For Coronavirus On Cruise: Report

A Manassas couple were among hundreds of Americans who became stuck on a quarantined cruise ship in early February near Yokohama, Japan. James "Rod" Bell and Athene Bell were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship when officials learned that another passenger had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Mechanicsville's Cabin on 360 to be seen on Paranormal TV Show

Argos Paranormal announced in July that an all-new episode of their award-winning TV series The Witching Hour was airing on select public access TV stations throughout the United States.

Here are some of the other top stories from across Virginia on Patch in 2020:

This article originally appeared on the Herndon Patch