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COVID-19 in Virginia: LIVE updates for Thursday, December 24

Posted at 10:09 AM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 10:09:39-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- In an effort to provide accurate, easy-to-read information on the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on our community, WTVR.com will update this post with the day's local coronavirus headlines and statistics.

COVID-19 IN VIRGINIA (Scroll to bottom for U.S. stats)

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 323,915 (Up 4,782 from Wednesday)
People Hospitalized: 17,389 (Up 118 from Wednesday)
COVID-19-Linked Deaths: 4,791 (Up 31 from Wednesday)
Total Tests: 4,835,782 (Up 59,507 from Wednesday)
All Health Districts Current 7-Day Positivity Rate Total: 11.2% (Unchanged from Wednesday)
People Vaccinated with at least One Dose: 19,943
People Fully Vaccinated: 0

Click here for complete city/county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Virginia

NOTE: This data is provided from the Virginia Department of Health daily at 10 a.m. Officials said their cutoff for data is 5 p.m. the previous day. So your local health department may have issued an alert about a case before it is added to the statewide tally released the following day. Get the latest charts and updated numbers from VDH here. *

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 LOCAL HEADLINES

CDC gives 'OK' to begin giving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given the green light to begin administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Americans age 18 and older. Inoculations using Moderna’s version of the vaccine could begin Monday morning. Read more.

Nearly 150 more COVID-19 patients discharged in Virginia; hospitalizations decrease
Nearly 150 additional COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Virginia hospitals in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Read more.

20 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in Virginia Sunday
Health officials are investigating 1,810 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data. More than 41,200 cases in the Commonwealth are linked to outbreaks. Read more.

CDC advisory panel recommends older Americans, essential workers to be next in line for vaccine
This second wave of people comes after the first tier of health care workers and long-term care facility residents that was agreed to by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices earlier this month should get the first of the vaccine shots that started last week. Read more.

2nd COVID-19 vaccine authorized in US ships out
Initial shipments of the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. have left a factory as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. Read more.

6 severe allergy cases from more than 250K shots
The half-dozen cases of allergic reaction were reported as of Friday night, and included one person with a history of vaccination reactions. Read more.

General sorry for 'miscommunication' over vaccine shipments
An Army general in charge of COVID-19 vaccines apologized Saturday for “miscommunication” with states on the number of early doses delivered. Read more.

US clears second COVID-19 vaccine, adding Moderna shots to the fight against a worsening pandemic
Moderna’s vaccine has been hailed as a medical breakthrough. The vaccine has been considered 94.1% effective against the virus. Read more.

Virginia to initially receive fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than anticipated
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Friday that it will receive fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccines than anticipated by the end of the year. Read more.

Governor donates plasma to help those struggling with COVID-19
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam donated his plasma Friday. As a COVID survivor, the governor's plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that could help treat others with the virus. Read more.

Maryland, Virginia donate vaccine doses to Washington, DC
D.C. health officials have complained for weeks that the initial allotment formula followed by the Centers for Diseason Control and Prevention provided Washington with just under 7,000 doses — less than one-tenth of what would be needed for local health care workers. Read more.

US surpasses 17 million COVID-19 cases, records 1 million new cases in less than week
The country is averaging more than 200,000 new cases of the virus every day, putting it on pace to record 1 million cases every five days, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Read more.

Claims for unemployment rise again as virus spread increases
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000 as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse. Read more.

COVID vaccine arrives at VCU: 'I miss my family, I miss my mom'
Healthcare workers at VCU Medical Center rolled up their sleeves Wednesday to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.

State addresses COVID vaccine concerns from Black Virginians
Hundreds of people gathered on a Zoom call Tuesday night to learn more about how Virginia health leaders will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in the Black community. Read more.

Virginia's healthcare workers start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations
Healthcare workers in Virginia started receiving the state's first doses of a coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, kicking off what is likely to be a months long process of inoculating people from the potentially deadly disease. Read more.

First Americans to receive initial doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday
Following Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA and a formal recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend, the first Americans are slated to receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. Read more.

COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort
The first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States are headed from Michigan to distribution centers across the country. Read more.

Virginia senior keen to take COVID vaccine to 'feel safer' and 'not be so isolated'
Joan Kerby lives in the Lakewood Retirement Community in Henrico, and hopes to get vaccinated soon.
"I would feel safer if I went into a grocery store, safer buying gas for the car, being out among people," she said. Read more.

Northam: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in 'next 24 to 48 hours'
Gov. Ralph Northam said Virginia plans to "immediately begin" distributing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the Commonwealth over the "next 24 to 48 hours." Read more.

US preps for 1st Pfizer vaccine shipment after FDA approval
Initial doses are scarce and rationed as the U.S. joins Britain and several other countries in scrambling to vaccinate as many people as possible ahead of winter. Read more.

US leads world with 16 million cases of virus
Cases of the virus have been rising across much of the U.S., causing record death totals in recent days. Read more.

US allows emergency COVID-19 vaccine
The U.S. has given the final go-ahead to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, launching emergency vaccinations in a bid to end the pandemic. Read more.

Virginia Employment Commission to issue benefits to thousands after threatened lawsuit
Nearly 80,000 Virginians who have been waiting, in some cases for months, to find out if they are eligible for unemployment benefits, will be greenlighted to receive their benefits by December 15, according to communication between the Virginia Employment Commission and the Legal Aid Justice Center. Read more.

Governor’s new stay-at-home order will not be enforced
Crime Insider Jon Burkett spoke with several top cops in different localities Thursday night and they all said the same thing: the governor's mandate about mask wearing, even in private, and an unenforced curfew is not something police on patrol will be looking for, nor can they legally enforce. Read more.

Why some Virginia business owners are worried over new COVID-19 restrictions
The guidance worried entrepreneurs after a crushing pandemic that has forced thousands of businesses nationwide to close. Business owners that rely on foot traffic and tourism expected a continued slump in sales. Read more.

Governor announces new COVID-19 restrictions
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced new statewide COVID-19 restrictions Thursday. Read more.

Coronavirus deaths top 3,000 Wednesday; hospitalizations rise
More than 3,000 people died from the coronavirus on Wednesday in the United States, which is a figure higher than at any point during the spring surge of the virus. Read more.

Richmond restaurant owner fears wave of closures this winter: 'The clock's ticking'
Jake Crocker temporarily closed his Fan District restaurant on March 16, the day before St. Patrick’s Day. Seven months later, his closure became permanent. “You already saw a wave of closures. The next wave is going to hit after New Year if something isn’t done immediately,” Crocker stated. Read more.

Northam promises vaccine distribution in underserved communities: 'Everybody will have access'
Gov. Ralph Northam made a stop at Ocean View Medical and Dental Center on Wednesday to see how things are going and what health officials at the center need as America gets closer to getting a vaccine. Read more.

Here's where to get a free COVID-19 test in Richmond, Henrico
Four COVID-19 community testing events have been scheduled for the week of December 14 in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Read more.

GRTC sees 'significant service delays' as staffers quarantine
GRTC warned riders to expect "significant service delays" starting Sunday for "at least the next several days" as staffers in quarantine from contact tracing efforts await COVID-19 test results. Read more.

Trump admin official optimistic virus vaccine will be OK'd
FDA officials will meet to review the Pfizer vaccine Thursday and it could be authorized almost immediately. Read more.

120 more COVID-19 patients discharged in Virginia; hospitalizations climb
One hundred twenty additional COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Virginia hospitals in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA). Read more.

4 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in Virginia Sunday
Health officials are investigating 1,605 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data. More than 35,400 cases in the Commonwealth are linked to outbreaks. Read more.

Vaccine is 'light at the end of this tunnel' Northam says
Governor Ralph Northam called the nearly half-a-million doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected to arrive in Commonwealth by the end of December the start of "the light at the end of this tunnel" in the fight against the pandemic. Read more.

Another GRTC employee tests positive for COVID-19; transit company has 6 active cases
The transit company said Saturday that the employee, who had public-facing duties and is being treated at an area hospital for complications from the virus, was last at GRTC on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Read more.

Virginia reports highest increase in virus cases in a day Saturday
Virginia has reported the biggest increase in COVID-19 cases in one day during the pandemic. Read more.

US reaches daily high of nearly 228,000 cases
Coronavirus infections continue to spread at record levels in the United States, reaching a new daily high of nearly 228,000 cases on Friday. Read more.

Where to get a free COVID-19 test in Richmond, Henrico next week
Three COVID-19 community testing events have been scheduled for the week of December 7 in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Read more.

Virginia announces plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Nearly half-a-million doses of COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Virginia by the end of the year, the Virginia Department of Health announced Friday. Read more.

In-person or virtual: Richmond Schools to decide Monday
Nearly 10,000 families and staff members completed a survey on whether schools should remain virtual or switch to in-person learning during the second semester. Read more.

Who in Central Virginia could receive COVID-19 vaccine first
City leaders in Richmond have detailed their plans and expectations for a major roll out of an eventual COVID-19 vaccination. Read more.

Richmond superintendent recommends virtual second semester
Superintendent Jason Kamras says he will recommend that Richmond Public Schools remain fully virtual for the second semester. Read more.

US surpasses 14 million COVID-19 cases, set another record in deaths Thursday
The U.S. surpassed the 14 million mark in confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday and set new records in both daily recorded cases and daily deaths as the country delves deeper into the bleakest stretch of the pandemic. Read more.

Biden asks Fauci to stay on, become chief medical advisor in new administration
President-elect Joe Biden has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to remain in his role at the National Institutes of Health, and to become a chief medical adviser to the Biden administration. Read more.

Officials to pass out reminder cards with initial COVID shots
According to the Department of Defense, the person administering vaccines will hand out a paper card after injecting the first dose of the vaccine. The cards will include the day that the first dose had been administered and the day that the patient will need to return to receive their second dose. Read more.

Free drive-thru COVID testing Thursday at the Diamond
The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts planned to hold a free drive-thru COVID-19 community testing event at the Diamond on Thursday. Read more.

Northam: Vaccine doses could ship to Virginia as early as mid-December
Governor Ralph Northam said Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccine doses could ship to Virginia as early as mid-December, assuming the Food and Drug Administration grants Pfizer's emergency use request. Read more.

Stay-at-home order issued in Los Angeles as coronavirus cases surge
Los Angeles County has announced a stay-home order as coronavirus cases surge out of control in the nation’s most populous county. Read more.

New rapid COVID-19 test can be taken at home
The test, which a doctor will have to prescribe, will provide valuable information to people, as long as it is administered correctly. Read more.

Doctor simulates last moments of COVID-19 patient's life
A critical care physician in St. Louis simulated what it’s like to be a coronavirus patient in his ICU in attempt to urge people to wear face coverings. Read more.

As COVID spikes, Chesterfield Schools return to virtual learning
Students at Chesterfield Public Schools will not return to classrooms again this year. The county announced Wednesday it would switch back to all-virtual learning after Thanksgiving break. Read me.

First US immunizations could arrive on Dec. 12
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.

FDA allows emergency use of antibody drug Trump received
U.S. health officials have allowed emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19. Read more.

US reaches 12 million total coronavirus cases
The nation's total number of confirmed cases reached 12.01 million on Saturday, six days after the number had reached 11 million, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Read more.

Richmond health leader warns about Thanksgiving gatherings
Less than a week until Thanksgiving, a prominent Richmond health leader is warning against celebrating the holiday with a large group of family and friends. Read more.

Pfizer submits Emergency Use Authorization request to FDA
Pfizer announced Friday that it would submit a request to the FDA Friday for its COVID-19 vaccine to be granted Emergency Use Authorization. Read more.

US sets record in daily COVID-19 cases, records 2K deaths in a day for 1st time since May
The U.S. reported at least 187,833 positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, breaking the all-time record of 177,224 that was set six days prior, on Nov. 13. Read more.

Fauci says 'cavalry is coming' with COVID vaccines
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said recent developments of a pair of vaccines showing an effectiveness of 95% should give Americans confidence to get a vaccine once they become available. Read more.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine 95% effective, company to seek authorization within 'days'
A final analysis of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by Pfizer and BioNTech shows that the drug is 95% effective in preventing the coronavirus, and the companies say they hope to apply for Emergency Use Authorization within "days," the company reported Wednesday. Read more.

Parents concerned as Chesterfield Schools report 30 coronavirus cases over last week
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Chesterfield County. Read more.

Toilet paper limits, empty shelves are back as virus surges
A surge of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is sending people back to stores to stockpile again, leaving shelves bare and forcing retailers to put limits on purchases. Read more.

Henrico schools to delay in-person reopening due to rising COVID-19 cases
Henrico County Schools say they are delaying their timeline for in-person learning as COVID-19 cases rise in the region. Read more.

Virginia's new COVID-19 restrictions begin as cases climb
New actions that aim to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Virginia went into effect at midnight Sunday. Read more.

US passes 11 million COVID-19 cases, meaning 1 million were diagnosed with virus in last week alone
As of Monday morning, more than 11 million people in the U.S. are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, a database kept by Johns Hopkins University. Read more.

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective
A COVID-19 vaccine candidate being produced by biotech company Moderna has shown to be 94.5% effective in Phase 3 clinical trials, the company said Monday. Read more.

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LATEST COVID-19 U.S. AND WORLDWIDE STATS