COVID-19 INFORMATION UPDATE:
Virginia Chamber's "Get Virginians Back to Work" Website & COVID-19 Resource Center: View the “Getting Virginians Back to Work” plan along with a host of other important resources for businesses on the Chamber’s website www.GetVaBackToWork.com
This week, Governor Northam provided his first COVID-19 pandemic update of 2021. The health crisis remains critical with cases at the highest point since the first reported case in March 2020. According to statistical modeling conducted by the University of Virginia, cases will continue to rise through Valentine’s Day.
Broad immunization will be the key to getting Virginia past this pandemic. According to Governor Northam:
Virginia needs a total of 17 million doses of the vaccine; that amount covers all 8.5 million Virginians, with two doses each.
The current short-term goal for Virginia is to vaccinate 25,000 people per day, with a longer-term goal of 50,000 vaccinations.
Northam also announced his plan for prioritizing the administration of vaccines. Developed with recommendations from the CDC, the priority 1 group includes three categories (A, B and C) which includes health care professionals, long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities. Also included are essential workers who are at high risk of exposure or work in occupations that do not allow them to work from home. This includes firefighters, police officers, teachers and childcare workers, bus drivers, grocery workers, and mail carriers. Individuals aged 75 years first, and then 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems are also included. The priority groups account for approximately 4.2 million Virginians. The priority groups can be found on the VDH website at: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.
The Governor encouraged Virginians to get the vaccine and noted thousands of providers have registered with the CDC and over one hundred pharmacies have entered into agreements to administer the vaccine.
The Governor announced the appointment of Dr. Danny Avula to lead the vaccination effort in Virginia. Dr. Avula will be coordinating efforts between local health departments, private providers, key state personnel, and hospitals. The National Guard will also be tasked with coordinating logistics and administering the vaccine.