COVID roundup: Parts of Va. open vaccinations to all over age 16
U.K. variant of coronavirus appears to be increasing in Va.
As of Monday, parts of Virginia have entered the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination — allowing all Virginians age 16 and older to receive shots, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The entire state is set to enter phase 2 by April 18, Gov. Ralph Northam announced last week.
The following counties are in phase 2: Accomack, Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Brunswick, Campbell, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Fauquier, Franklin, Frederick, Halifax, Henry, Madison, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Orange, Page, Patrick, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Shenandoah, Warren.
And these cities are also in phase 2: Chesapeake, Covington, Danville, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Norfolk, Roanoke, Salem, Virginia Beach and Winchester.
Most of the rest of the state is in phase 1c, which prioritizes vaccinations for people working in energy, higher education, finance, legal and housing and construction sectors, as well as water, waste removal, food service, transportation and logistics, information technology and communication, media and public safety, and public health workers not included in earlier vaccination phases. Full information on health districts’ phases is available here.
Appointments are still required for vaccination, even for localities in phase 2. All adult residents of Virginia can now register to get vaccinated at vaccinate.virginia.gov or call (877) VAX-IN-VA, or (877) 829-4682.
The state now ranks 10th in the nation for percentage of vaccine doses administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed by Becker’s Hospital Review.
As of Monday, 2.8 million people, or 32.8% of the state’s population, have received at least one vaccine dose; 1.5 million people, or 18.1% of the state, have been fully vaccinated. The state administered an average 77,879 doses per day over the past week.
The state also has seen an increase of 9,662 COVID-19 cases in the past week, with a positivity rate of 6.4% over the past seven days, up 0.6% from the previous week. Researchers at the University of Virginia warned last week that the highly contagious United Kingdom-based variant of the coronavirus is gaining purchase in parts of the state and may cause another peak in late spring or early summer, depending on prevention measures. As of Sunday, Virginia has seen 190 cases of the U.K. variant. The state recorded 141 COVID-related deaths last week, VDH reported, an increase of 49 from the previous week. As of Monday, the state has recorded 626,171 total cases and 10,360 fatalities.
With race and ethnicity information available for only 61.7% of people who have received shots in the state, the majority of shots have been received by white, non-Hispanic people — 66.4% as of Monday, according to VDH. Black Virginians have received 14.1% of shots, although they make up 19.9% of the state’s population, according to 2019 estimates by the U.S. Census; 8.2% of vaccines were given to Latino residents, who comprise about 9.8% of Virginians.
State health officials have focused attention on equitable administration of vaccinations, especially as Latino and Black residents are heavily represented among people who have been infected, hospitalized and died from the coronavirus. Among Virginia’s COVID deaths for which ethnicity and race were recorded, 24.7% were Black, and 6.4% were Latino.
As of April 1, the following health districts have positivity rates of 10% or higher:
- Hampton — 13.4%, up from 12.6% on March 25
- Portsmouth — 12.9%, up from 10.1%
- Mount Rogers — 11.4%, up from 9.6%
- Norfolk — 10.8%, up from 9.4%
- Chesapeake — 10.2%, up from 9.1%
Globally, there are 131.5 million reported COVID-19 cases and 2,855,894 confirmed deaths, as of April 5. The United States, which has the most confirmed cases and deaths worldwide, has seen 30.7 million confirmed cases so far, with 555,035 deaths attributed to the coronavirus since February 2020. According to the CDC, 106 million U.S. residents have received at least one vaccine dose, or 32% of the nation’s population, and 61 million people, or 18.5% of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated.