Governor Northam's COVID-19 Briefing - 1/14/2021
- Despite the increasing distribution of the vaccine, Governor Northam stresses that all social distancing, hand washing, and face covering guidelines remain in place.
- Following CDC vaccination guidelines, people age 65 and over, and those with co-morbid conditions, will be moved into Phase 1B.
- Many health districts have already begun administering vaccines to group 1B, but all districts are expected to be there by the end of January.
- This means that over half of Virginians are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
- The number of vaccines being administered per day is steadily increasing throughout the entire state.
- Pharmacies, high schools, and universities are partnering with the VDH to become vaccination clinics.
- In order to reach Virginia’s goal of 50,000 shots per day, we need more infrastructure in the form of mass vaccination clinics.
- Adequate numbers of trained staff will be essential to the function of these clinics.
- The goal is for these clinics to be staffed by the National Guard, VMRC volunteers, and other “contracted vaccinators”.
- Members of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps are already volunteering at existing sites, and Governor Northam encourages anyone with previous medical experience to sign up.
- The Department of Education is today changing its guidelines for local schools, to create a pathway for re-opening.
- This decision comes from the conclusion that all mitigation strategies (social distancing, mask wearing, and cleaning) can be done successfully in the school setting.
- New guidelines will provide specific guidelines and data for mitigation strategies, as well as prioritization levels for in-person instruction.
- The Virginia Education Association recommends that learning remain virtual until all teachers have been vaccinated.
- This is an essential step in safely bringing students and teachers back to the classroom.
COVID-19 CASES, STATISTICS AND MODELING
- Total cases: 417,839
- New in the last 24 hours: 5,294
- Total deaths: 5,626