This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 344,345 total confirmed, and probable cases of COVID-19 and 4,984 total deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.
The seven-day positivity rate, PCR only, for the Commonwealth is 12.7%.
Norfolk is credited with 8,697 total cases and 105 deaths with an 13.2% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.
According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 2,047 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 30,440 confirmed COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized and discharged.
As a reminder, Governor Ralph Northam’s restrictive protective measures due to the surges of COVID-19 in Virginia are still in effect. The restrictions started Monday, December 14, at 12:01 a.m., and will last through January.
The restrictions include:
- Modified “stay-at-home order: The modified “stay-at-home” order is for the hours between midnight and 5 a.m. That will exclude those going to work and other essential travel (buying food, getting medical attention, etc.).
- Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals. This includes outdoor and indoor settings. Gatherings include parties, celebrations, and other social events, outdoors and indoors. The rule does not apply to places of work, religious services, and schools.
- Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over must wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This DOES include educational settings, Houses of Worship, places of employment, and stores. Masks will also be required outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
- Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide physical distancing guidelines, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. Violations are now enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
- Recreational sports: There is a 25-person-per-field limit for indoor recreational sports and two guests per player for outdoor sports. The Governor encourages schools to set up streams online and move sports outside if possible.
For more information on this, view this week's Incident Action Plan.
The FDA has granted Pfizer-BioNTech and Modera emergency use authorizations, allowing the COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed and administered in the U.S.
The CDC is considering a four-phase plan to distribute vaccines. Phase 1a would be followed by Phases 1b and 1c, which could include essential workers at high risk of infection, other emergency personnel, and people with underlying conditions at a higher risk of Covid-19 complications and death.
For more information, visit Virginia Department of Health.
Court Safety Order
Norfolk Circuit Court issued a Safety Order stating that, “consistent with the guidance of the Center for Disease Control, which currently notes insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields to protect nearby people from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer, the Court orders that face shields without masks are not an acceptable substitute for face masks in the Courthouse.”
The Supreme Court of Virginia issued the Fourteenth Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency. The extension is in effect until January 3rd, 2021. The Fourteenth Order extends the order of provisions set forth in the original Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency.
Don’t forget its Flu season. The CDC and VDH both recommend receiving a seasonal flu vaccination. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the city will not have on-site flu shot clinics this year for city employees. We encourage all employees to get a flu shot this season from their primary care physician or any participating pharmacy. Click here to find flu vaccine locations.
Are you ready to give the gift of life? There are plenty of opportunities for you to give blood next month. Be an American Red Cross Hero by donating blood to help save lives. Click here to view all blood donation opportunities for January in Norfolk. If you don’t live in Norfolk, don’t worry, you can search by city and find blood drives near you.
As a reminder, the City of Norfolk’s government offices, libraries, and recreation centers will be closed Friday, January 1, 2020 for New Year’s Day.
It looks like we will have a wet and soggy end to the week. We will likely see some scattered showers developing Thursday morning and will last until early afternoon. It will be quite warmer tomorrow, with temps hovering around 60 degrees. Our next round of rain will occur Friday morning an into the late afternoon. Despite the rain, highs will be in the upper 50s. Our last chance of rain will occur overnight Saturday into Sunday. Great news though, our high temps will be near 70 degrees on Saturday. By the end of the weekend our rainfall totals could be near two inches.
Be safe and have a great week, everyone.
Happy New Year!
Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response