Here are some of the top headlines around Southwest and Southside:

Ballad Health says covid hospitalizations are up 44% over last two weeks. — WJHL-TV. However, overall case rates are down. — WJHL-TV.

Lynchburg police down 28 as applications fall 90%. — WSET-TV.

Local health officials caution against panic over new COVID variant. — The Roanoke Times.

Montgomery County officials put together policies on vaccinations. — The Roanoke Times.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville is looking for 16 teachers to become students in a new coaching institute. — Danville Register & Bee.

Food assistance at Danville’s largest food pantry is down 20% since 2019. — WSET-TV.

Southwest Virginia legislators give preview of 2022 session. — WSET-TV.

Bluefield eyes major upgrades on College Avenue. — Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Newly-formed opera company prepares to open its first local production at Emory & Henry College on Friday. — Bristol Herald Courier.

Ice skating returns to Roanoke’s Elmwood Park. — The Roanoke Times.