This morning the Virginia Department of Health reports 586,562 total confirmed, and probable cases of COVID-19 and 9,683 total deaths related to the virus in the Commonwealth.
The seven-day positivity rate, PCR only, for the Commonwealth is 6.2%.
Norfolk is credited with 15,178 total cases and 220 deaths with an 8.6% seven-day positivity rate, PCR only.
According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 1,142 residents in Virginia are currently hospitalized due to the virus. Over 48,465 confirmed COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized and discharged.
VDH reports that 1,491,065 people in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Over 823,887 people have been fully vaccinated.
The Commonwealth has received 2,748,835 doses of vaccine and are administering just over 52,570 doses a day.
To date in Norfolk, 37,283 people have received the vaccine and 10,699 people are fully vaccinated.
For daily vaccine summaries and totals, visit the VDH dashboard.
Current Restrictive Measures: As a reminder, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing in each region. As such, the governor amended Executive Order 72, to include the following:
- Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 25 people for outdoor settings, while remaining at 10 persons for indoor settings.
- Entertainment venues: Outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate with up to 1,000 individuals or at 30 percent capacity, whichever is lower. If current trends continue, these venues may be able to operate at 30 percent capacity with no cap on the number of people permitted to attend starting in April. Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people. All entertainment venues were previously limited to a maximum of 250 individuals.
- Dining establishments: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol will be permitted until midnight, extended from 10:00 p.m. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms still must be closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
- Overnight summer camps: As of May 1, overnight summer camps will be able to open with strict mitigation measures in place. Registration can begin now.
For more information on this, view this week's Incident Action Plan.
Mask Mandate: As certain states begin relaxing mask mandates; it is important to remember that Virginia still requires masks for all Virginians aged five and over to wear masks over their nose and mouth in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person.
All employees, not just those in customer facing areas, must also wear masks while working if 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained between others.
This is an expansion of Virginia’s mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, 2020. It is aligned with most recent CDC guidelines, which recommend universal wearing of masks with two layers of fabric that cover the nose and mouth.
Experiencing Stress: This most certainly has been a trying time for all of us; but you are not alone. Anyone experiencing anxiety or stress related to COVID-19 may call or text VA COPES, a free and confidential COVID-19 response. To speak with someone, call 877-349-6428 Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and Saturday - Sunday from 5:00 pm. to 9:00 pm. Spanish speakers are available.
Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Scams - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.
Fraudsters are offering COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, these services are unapproved and illegitimate.
To learn how to protect yourself against COVID-19 Scams, visit: Office of Inspector General.
Schools Reopening: Next Monday, some students will return to in-person class instruction based upon the phased-in approached set by the Norfolk School Board.
Here is the breakdown of the phased approach:
- Phase One: March 1, 2021 - All teachers and staff return to work locations.
- Phase Two: March 15, 2021 – Students with Disabilities (Self Contained), English Learners and PreK-5 students begin hybrid model. Grades 6-12 remain fully online with the current schedule, except for those students previously listed.
- Phase Three: April 12, 2021 - All middle school students begin hybrid schedule. Grades 9-12 remain fully online, except for students in the March 15th phase.
- Phase Four: April 26, 2021 - All high school students begin hybrid schedule.
For more information, visit http://www.npsk12.com/Page/17555 as a resource for the most up-to-date information on the NPS Return to In-Person Plan during this transition.
COVID-19 Vaccine Registration and Call Center: To pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine online through the new state portal, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or you can pre-register by calling 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682)
Are you ready to give the gift of life? There are plenty of opportunities for you to give blood this month. Be an American Red Cross Hero by donating blood to help save lives. Click here to view all blood donation opportunities in Norfolk. If you don’t live in Norfolk, don’t worry, you can search by city and find blood drives near you.
Be safe and have a great week, everyone.
Daniel Hudson, Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response