Updated: Jan. 16, 2021 at 12:08 AM EST
H.S. Basketball Highlights: Friday, January 15
Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:57 PM EST
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Many people are hoping to get their COVID-19 vaccine soon. The rollout continues in Virginia under different phases, but most of the Shenandoah Valley is still in Phase 1a, which includes health care workers and long-term care facility residents. As of Jan. 11, eleven health districts in Virginia began administering 1B vaccinations. One of those being the Lord Fairfax Health District, which serves Page and Shenandoah counties. According to health officials, Phase 1b will begin in the Central Shenandoah Health District soon. “It definitely doesn’t mean that we don’t have vaccine availability. It’s more so we have to get through our Phase 1a group as much as we can before we move to Phase 1b,” Laura Lee Wight, with the Central Shenandoah Health District, said. “We’re going to see some overlap. There’s going to be some flexibility in starting Phase 1B while we’re finishing up 1A and that’s to be expected.” She said there are several reasons why the district is still in Phase 1a, but the leading factors include community partners and a higher population. “As the vaccine supply increases and as we are able to get more health care providers and other community partners onboarded to help us increase the community capacity to vaccination, then we’re going to see more availability,” Wight said. “We are working with our health care systems, our health care partners, pharmacies, as well as federally qualified health centers.” Wight said the health district is preparing for increased demand for the 1b vaccine because it covers a larger group of people. It includes school staff, people ages 65 and older, and those in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. “With the schools, the school nurses might be able to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to the staff and that helps us in really increasing our vaccination capacity within our community,” Wight said. “This is a big lift vaccinating our entire population.” Wight said some counties and cities may move forward in the vaccination process faster than others, but you can get the latest updates on their Facebook page.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:42 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:40 PM EST
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - This week, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia stressed the importance of vaccinating school staff and getting students back in school. The Virginia Department of Health also released new guidelines for reopening schools. Local school superintendents said it is nice knowing mitigation strategies in schools are working. “When the mitigation is there, then it can be done safely and that’s what we heard again, and it wasn’t a shock to us that is how it played out,” Superintendent of Rockingham County Public Schools, Dr. Oskar Scheikl, said. Dr. Michael Richards, Superintendent of Harrisonburg City Public Schools, said there is more of an emphasis now on assessing the effectiveness of that mitigation. “I like the optimism in the guidance and I like the fact that the new guidance uses what we’ve learned for the past nine months about mitigation and other things, so that’s a very positive part of it,” Richards said. Richards said the guidance also emphasizes innovation and learning new ways to continue school during the pandemic, which many school divisions have done. But while there is optimism for the future of schools, both superintendents stress continuing COVID-19 safety measures to keep the community safe. Scheikl said the plan is to start vaccinating Rockingham County school school staff on January 27th and Richards said Harrisonburg staff vaccinations will be starting in the coming weeks.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:37 PM EST
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Heart failure affects roughly 5.7 million Americans and that’s why doctors at the University of Virginia are working on a therapy to improve the quality of life for their patients suffering from this disease. “Unfortunately, unlike the other heart failures where the fraction is weak or low, this particular heart failure has no known medications and no known therapies that have been approved specifically,” Dr. Sula Mazimba, a heart failure specialist at UVA, said. At issue is something called cardiac amyloidosis or commonly known as a stiff heart. “It’s a type of heart failure where the heart does not relax and it’s common. About 50% of patients with heart failure in the U.S. have this type of heart failure,” Mazimba said. Mazimba says the disease causes many functional limitations severely impacting people’s quality of life. “Patients find that they are short of breath when they walk short distances for example, they feel exhausted and the quality of life is significantly impaired,” Mazimba said. That’s why Mazimba and Dr. Scott Lim are working on a therapy they hope will improve their patients’ day to day life. “Some colleagues of ours around the country have gotten together with us to investigate in patients who are struggling with this disease of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the stiff heart, whether we can use the device to create a small hole between the two upper chambers of the heart,” Lim said. The procedure is currently in its second clinical trial phase. “It’s done under a minimally invasive approach via a catheter that we introduce from the blood vessel into the patient’s leg, threaded up to the heart, and then through that tube, a catheter, we’re able to introduce the heart failure device creating that small hole. It’s done relatively quickly,” Lim said. Through this innovative approach, the doctors are hopeful this technology will be the game changer. “We don’t know if this device is helping these patients. Is it truly effective in helping them? We have done enough investigation to know it is safe and understand the safety profile of it,” Lim said. Both doctors say they’re hoping to submit their data to the FDA in a few months and are expecting to have some answers for their patients in the trial before the end of 2021.