I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year.
This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 407,947 total confirmed, and probable cases of COVID-19 and 5,477 total deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.
The seven-day positivity rate, PCR only, for the Commonwealth is 16.4%.
Norfolk is credited with 10,380 total cases and 120 deaths with an 17.6% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.
According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 3,185 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 33,500 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.
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.
Last week, Governor Ralph Northam announced the following new actions to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution program and accelerate the pace of vaccinations across Virginia. Read the full release here.
- Vaccination goal. Governor Northam set an initial goal of vaccinating 25,000 Virginians each day when supply allows.
- ‘Use it or lose it’ model. Medical facilities will be required to put the vaccine they receive into arms as soon as possible, or risk having future vaccine allotments reduced.
- Danny T.K. Avula to lead vaccination efforts in Virginia. Governor Northam appointed Dr. Avula, who serves as director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments to coordinate work between state officials, local health departments, hospitals, and private providers.
- Expanded priority groups. Governor Northam announced that K-12 teachers and childcare workers will be among the next priority groups to receive vaccinations after Group A, and outlined the populations that will be included in Groups B and C.
- Elevating the Virginia National Guard. As the Commonwealth receives more doses, the Virginia National Guard will provide logistical support and help local health departments will administering vaccines.
On the VDH website, you can find descriptions of each COVID-19 vaccination phase.
Here is the breakdown for each phase:
- Healthcare personnel
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Frontline essential workers
- People age 75 or older
- People living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps
- Other essential workers
- People age 65 or older
- People age 16 or older with underlying medical conditions.
For more information, visit Virginia Department of Health.
VDH has also created a new tool to assist finding out what phase you are eligible to receive the vaccination. Once you are on the Virginia Department of Health’s website, scroll down to the button that says, “Find Out Which Phase You are Eligible For” and answer the questions provided. At the end of the brief survey, you will be provided the phase you are eligible to receive your vaccination.
Finally, concerning the vaccination process, the VDH dashboard now provides daily summaries of how many total doses of the vaccine has been administered, how many people have received at least one dose and how many people have been fully vaccinated.
Today, VDH reports that 200,402 doses of the COVD-19 vaccination have been administered. Of that, 181,316 people have received their first dose, and 19,086 people have been fully vaccinated. These numbers represent the entire state; however, under the summary tab on the Vaccine dashboard, you can find out how many doses have been administered by each locality.
In Norfolk, 2,906 people have received the vaccination.
Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and out of an abundance of caution, Recreation, Parks & Open Space facilities temporarily closed recreation centers and indoor pools to the public for four weeks on Monday, January 11, 2021. For more information on this, or to see the sites that are closed, visit Norfolk.gov.
As a reminder, the City of Norfolk’s government offices and libraries will be closed Monday, January 18, 2021 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the city will have a special virtual ceremony aired on COX channel Norfolk TV48, NorfolkTV YouTube channel, and Norfolk Facebook page. The virtual ceremony will include special messages from Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander and Vice Mayor Martin Thomas, Jr. and look back to the January 2020 celebration at the Attucks Theatre and wreath-laying ceremony. For additional information and show times, visit Norfolk.gov.
Sadly, the in-person ceremony and march will not be held this year due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
Are you ready to give the gift of life? There are plenty of opportunities for you to give blood this 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.
Be safe and have a great week, everyone.
Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response