By Stefanie Jackson – Gov. Ralph Northam said on Thursday that cases of COVID-19 and related hospitalizations are down, but with the COVID-19 case positivity rate holding at about 10%, Virginians must continue practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing their hands often, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We need these trends to continue – cases down, vaccinations up – as we develop a longterm plan for how to get back to life as we knew it a year ago,” Northam said.
About 34,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are administered every day in Virginia, with a goal of 50,000 doses per day.
Virginia is receiving about 130,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine every week, which is up from 105,000 doses per week but not enough to meet the need of 350,000 doses per week, Northam said.
More personnel are needed to administer the vaccines, and the governor signed emergency legislation on Thursday allowing dentists, medical students, and others to help get COVID-19 shots into arms, he said.
Virginia’s official COVID-19 vaccination registration website, www.vaccinate.virginia.gov, went live on Thursday; an average of 150 registrations per minute and as many as 300 registrations per minute were received.
A total of about 240,000 people had signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine via the website on the first day.
Northam reminded Virginians that the COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone and warned them not to respond to scammers asking for money to reserve a dose of the vaccine.
In another matter, the governor noted that two weeks ago, about one-third of Virginia K-12 schools had no plan to offer students in-person learning options. This week, only three or four school divisions still need to finish their plans.
He also said that children will be allowed to attend overnight camps this summer, and plans are in the works to permit large outdoor events.