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Northam delivers update on COVID-19 vaccine administration

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:30 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 3:00 PM EDT
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Governor Ralph Northam delivered a COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, April 19, to discuss vaccine administration in the Commonwealth, along with the latest updates on the coronavirus. He was joined by Senator Mark Warner and several other officials.

Northam said as of Sunday, April 18, every adult in the Commonwealth is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Northam said Virginia has made “extraordinary progress” in vaccination efforts.

Northam said as of Monday, April 19, about 39 percent of all Virginians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost 25% are fully vaccinated.

Northam said many health districts have been reaching out to those in vaccine priority groups to help those who wish to be vaccinated, and now, the state moves to open vaccine registration to everyone over the age of 16.

Northam reminded residents it may take a while to receive an appointment due to high demand, but Northam estimates 3 million more Virginians will be able to register to get vaccinated, now that Virginia has opened vaccine registration to include individuals in Phase 2.

To register for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

You may notice the Virginia Department of Health’s vaccine website looks a little different. The website will now help you to find a vaccine clinic near you, and now takes into account Virginia’s hospitals’ and pharmacies’ vaccine clinics. More tips on how to use the new tool can be found at vaccinate.virginia.gov.

Despite some restrictions lifting and the number of vaccinated Virginians growing, Northam said Virginia could not let its guard down. The governor urged Virginians to keep wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and staying at home when possible.

“We are on the right track, we just have to keep being careful and stay vigilant,” Northam said.

Mark Warner also spoke during the briefing, urging Virginians to get vaccinated.

“If you haven’t gotten a shot, get a shot,” Warner said. “This is not a question of politics. It’s not a question of who you like or don’t like as president. It’s about whether you care about yourself, your family, your neighbors, your community.”

Northam also altered spectator restrictions at performances at Virginia’s high schools to match the requirements for sporting restrictions. More information will be available in the coming days.

You can watch the briefing below, on WHSV’s Facebook page or on the governor’s Facebook page.

On Tuesday, March 23, Governor Northam announced an ease in some of the COVID-19 restrictions for social gatherings and entertainment venues.

Starting April 1, social gatherings would now allow gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Entertainment venues will be able to operate at 30 percent capacity with a 500 person cap. Outdoor capacity will now be able to have up to 30 percent.

When it comes to sporting events, the number of spectators will increase to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Masks and social distancing will still be required at this time.

Previously, Governor Northam also lifted the modified stay-at-home order, and alcohol sales have been expanded to midnight.

The universal mask mandate, which requires Virginians aged 5 and up to wear masks when inside public spaces and when social distancing is not possible, remains in effect.

COVID-19 in Virginia

As of Monday, April 19, Virginia has had 647,111 total cases of COVID-19, including confirmed lab tests and clinical diagnoses, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

That total reflects a 978 case increase since Sunday. The Virginia Department of Health reports a 6.7% 7-day positivity rate for total testing encounters, and a 6.1% 7-day positivity rate for PCR tests.

Fourteen additional deaths were reported on Monday, leaving the death toll at 10,595.

According to the Virginia Department of Health’s vaccine data dashboard, as of April 19, 3,404,507 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,137,823 people are fully vaccinated.

5,472,815 total vaccine doses have been distributed throughout the state.

You can now call WHSV for the latest COVID-19 case numbers in the health districts we cover, as well as the case numbers in Grant, Hardy and Pendleton Counties, W. Va. Our COVID-19 hotline will be updated daily. To listen, you can call 540-433-9191 ext. 101 Monday-Friday.

For a comprehensive summary of COVID-19 cases and testing in Virginia, you can visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website and view their COVID-19 dashboard.

For the latest factual information on COVID-19, you’re encouraged to check both the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC.

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