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Virginia Health Commisioner talks vaccines, indoor masking and more

Virginia Health Commissioner, Dr. Norm Oliver.
Virginia Health Commissioner, Dr. Norm Oliver.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:28 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Currently, masks are required for students in Virginia ages two and up when they are indoors at public and private K-12 schools. Dr. Norm Oliver is the health commissioner for the commonwealth. He says in-person learning is top of mind for this year.

“Our children had their school year very disrupted by the pandemic. Attempting to do learning in the home setting or Zoom, Webex or other technologies and it is just not as good as the in-person version of education,” Dr. Oliver explained.

In late July, the CDC recommended everyone wear a mask indoors in areas of high or substantial transmission.

“We are strongly encouraging people to follow this guidance, it is a matter of protecting the health of you your family, and your community and stopping the spread of this virus,” Dr. Oliver added.

On August 18, the CDC along with other national health experts released a statement, detailing how booster shots can provide maximum vaccine protection.

“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose. At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster. We would also begin efforts to deliver booster shots directly to residents of long-term care facilities at that time, given the distribution of vaccines to this population early in the vaccine rollout and the continued increased risk that COVID-19 poses to them,” the statement reads.

“Any of us who are past eight months of being vaccinated are still protected from COVID-19. The majority of us are not going to get COVID-19,” Dr. Oliver explained. “If you look at the cases that are happening right now, 95 percent or more of those cases are people who are unvaccinated, there are very few that are having breakthrough cases.”

In Virginia, more than 9.7 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Keep up with current numbers by clicking here.

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