Governor Northam's COVID-19 Briefing - 2/5/2021
- January saw record numbers for positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 in Virginia.
- In the past week, all of these metrics have begun to trend downward.
- So far, four positive cases of the UK variant have been identified in Virginia.
- The first case of the South African variant in Virginia was identified yesterday.
- Virginia received 23% more vaccine doses this week than the previous week.
- Vaccine supply is expected to continue to increase in the coming weeks.
- Both the vaccine data dashboard and reporting schedule have been revised to be more transparent and better aligned with CDC reports.
- Starting tomorrow, Virginia will begin training 750 new call center workers to staff the vaccine registration hotline.
- This will be available early next week, and will allow anyone who is eligible for the vaccine to pre-register.
- Those who have already pre-registered with their local health district do not need to do so again.
- All information from the call center, as well as the upcoming online registration portal, will go into the same data center, and be shared with local health districts.
- Over 9% of Virginians have received their first dose of the vaccine, ranking Virginia 9th in vaccine distribution in the US.
- 36 CVS locations across Virginia will begin administering vaccines early next week.
- These sites will focus on vaccinating high risk populations, and are designated to serve low income, underserved populations, as well as those over the age of 65.
- The doses being administered at these locations will be shipped directly from the federal government, in addition to the doses already being allocated to the state.
- CVS pharmacies in other states have a separate registration process, which has been done on a “first come, first serve” basis, but Virginia plans to integrate CVS registration with our already existing statewide registration process.
- This is intended to ensure that those who need the vaccine most can receive it first.
- Hospitals which had vaccine doses allocated as second doses that could not be administered yet have been able to shift those into first doses now that vaccine supply is more able to keep up with demand.
- Data has consistently shown that schools are not environments for rapid spread of the virus.
- Increases in behavioral problems and depression, along with decreases in academic performance, have shown the toll that remote learning has taken on school age children.
- Every Virginia school will be directed to have in-person learning options available to students by March 15, 2021.
- Families will have the option to continue learning remotely until they feel comfortable having their children return to school.
- Governor Northam also encourages schools to plan for summer school options in order to help children catch up to be ready for more in-person learning in the Fall.
- CARES Act funding will be available to support schools in staying open during the summer months.
- CDC guidelines and recommendations show that in-person education can happen safely, with adequate mitigation strategies.
COVID-19 CASES, STATISTICS AND MODELING
- Total cases: 521,467
- New in the last 24 hours: 5,069
- Total deaths: 6,732
- Unemployment benefits were extended by the federal government at the end of December.
- More than 1 million Virginians have received unemployment in the past 11 months.
- These benefits have amounted to over $10 billion.
- The VEC has served more people in the past 10 months than it has in the past 10 years combined.
- The VEC hopes to have the final piece of its new unemployment program in place by next week.
- More information will go out tonight to those who have filed for unemployment.