RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Ralph Northam held an update on matters related to the coronavirus in the commonwealth on Tuesday, March 23.
The governor started by noting that about 1-in-4 Virginians have received first dose of vaccine. The commonwealth averages about 500,000 vaccine doses a week, sometimes giving out 60,000-70,000 doses per day.
Northam said he had a call with other governors and Dr. Anthony Fauci and heard three pieces of good news:
- The federal government will be increasing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses by five times the current level. Additionally, Virginia will be getting roughly 48,000 Johnson & Johnson doses next week.
- There is potentially a fourth vaccine, from AstraZeneca, coming to Virginia.
- The federal government will launch a nationwide education campaign stressing the vaccines are safe and they work. Northam said you’ll hear it from people you trust - doctors, neighbors, etc.
Gov. Northam says current average around 1,400 COVID-19 cases per day in Virginia, and things are going well so that some restrictions will be eased.
Beginning April 1:
- Social gatherings may have up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
- Entertainment venues can go up to 30% capacity - with up to 500 people indoors, no numeric limit outdoors.
- For sporting events, the number of spectators will increase to 100 indoors and 500 outdoors.
- Mask and social distancing mandates will remain.
The governor says he is hopeful that more measures will be lifted as we go into the spring and summer, assuming COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations stay low.
Dr. Norm Oliver says there are a number of COVID-19 variants in Virginia, a couple hundred cases have been recorded so far. He encourages everyone to get vaccinated.
Dr. Oliver says Virginia has done a good job addressing the equity issue of vaccinating minority and vulnerable populations, and getting doses to them.