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COVID-19 in Virginia: LIVE updates for Wednesday, February 3

Posted at 11:15 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 11:15:39-05

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)

NOTE FROM HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Surveillance system upgrades Saturday will affect data on the COVID-19 Cases & Testing Dashboards Sunday and Monday.

"A decrease in the number of cases and tests reported on January 31, and an increase in the number of cases and tests reported on February 1 is anticipated because of these upgrades," officials said.

Positive COVID-19 Cases Since Start of Pandemic: 513,339 (+2,959 from Tuesday)
People Hospitalized Since Start of Pandemic: 21,638 (+122 from Tuesday)
COVID-19-Linked Deaths Since Start of Pandemic: 6,575 (+58 from Tuesday)
Total Tests: 6,599,846 (+30,468 from Tuesday)
All Health Districts Current 7-Day Positivity Rate Total: `10.7% (Down from 10.9% on Tuesday)

People Vaccinated with at least One Dose: 758,274 (+15,541 from Tuesday)
People Fully Vaccinated: 136,731 (+5,996 from Tuesday)

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

How you can get on a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist
As local health departments organize COVID-19 vaccination efforts, it is crucial they know who is interested in getting the shot. Interested individuals are asked to fill out forms to get on a waitlist in order to be contacted about an appointment.
Read more.

Nearly 190 additional COVID-19 patients discharged in Virginia; hospitalizations tick down
Nearly 190 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.

'I've never been so happy to get a shot in all my life,' says 84-year-old Virginia woman
Saturday's mass vaccination event was the largest clinic held yet in Henrico with more than 5,000 seniors projected to have been vaccinated.
Read more.

8 new COVID-19 outbreaks reported Sunday
Health officials are investigating 2,319 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data. More than 57,300 cases in the Commonwealth are linked to outbreaks.
Read more.

Henrico could make a back-to-classroom decision next week
A decision about when in-person learning will resume for the Henrico County Public Schools students who chose it should come Feb. 4.
Read more.

Pharmacies wait for COVID-19 vaccines: ‘We definitely could do more’
For the past five weeks, Bremo Pharmacy and its employees have vaccinated hundreds of people in Central Virginia.
Bremo is one of three locally-owned pharmacies that have partnered with the Richmond-Henrico Health District to reach more people eligible for a vaccine under Phases 1A and 1B.
Read more.

Antibody trial seeks people recently exposed to COVID-19 who have not yet developed disease
A potentially powerful treatment for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but have yet to develop symptoms is going through a clinical trial right here in Richmond.
Read more.

Vaccination clinic opens in former Hanover grocery store
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened Friday in the former Food Lion store in the Ashland Junction Shopping Center in Hanover County.
Read more.

Senior center worker gets 2nd shot to honor sister who died of COVID: 'I finally did it'
Residents and team members at the Hermitage Richmond long-term care facility received their second and final dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday, just three weeks after receiving their first dose.
Read more.

Richmond-area seniors anxiously wait for the phone call: ‘You can’t get the vaccine’
Thousands of people aged 75+ who filled out a COVID-19 vaccine interest form with their local health department will get vaccinated this coming weekend.
Read more.

How thousands of seniors can get a COVID vaccine: 'Check e-mail and answer the phone'
Thousands of people aged 75+ who filled out a COVID-19 vaccine interest form with their local health department will get vaccinated this coming weekend. VCU Health System donated vaccines from its supply to make the mass vaccination event possible.
UPDATE: Sunday's vaccination event has been moved to Tuesday because of winter weather in the forecast.
Read more.

Officials frustrated by Crater Health District vaccine rollout: 'We're requesting more vaccines'
The Crater Health District released more information Thursday about its transition into Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout as local governments within that health district have been expressing frustration about the lack of information.
Read more.

Governor responds to COVID criticism: 'We realize that needs to be improved'
Responding to criticism surrounding the rough rollout of Virginia's COVID-19 vaccine program, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said a few things were happening, both in the short-term and long-term, to increase Virginia's weekly vaccine shipments.
Read more.

VCU Health adjusts its 2nd vaccine dose plan after a misunderstanding
VCU Health says they will not be releasing their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as requested by the state.
This comes after they released a letter to staff stating that they would release the vaccine doses.
Read more.

22,000 people on Chesterfield COVID-19 vaccine waitlist: 'It will possibly be months'
“You see how many of your folks want vaccinated,” Emergency Planner David Woods told the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors during a vaccination update on Wednesday.
Read more.

Epidemiologist: More contagious COVID-19 variant 'will be more common' in Virginia
There are certain settings in which the new variant of COVID-19, known as B.1.1.7, could increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus, according to a health expert with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.
Read more.

Frustration grows as Virginia's vaccine rollout continues to lag behind
From Henrico up to Stafford, Virginia residents over the age of 75 keep reaching out to CBS 6, upset about why they still cannot get a COVID-19 vaccine or even an appointment.
Read more.

Number of people getting vaccinated surpasses confirmed COVID-19 cases in Virginia
More than 497,000 people have now gotten a first dose of the vaccine, compared to more than 483,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, although experts have long said the actual number of cases is higher than the number confirmed.
Read more.

Biden administration purchases 200 million more doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines
President Joe Biden says that a minimum of 10 million shots will be administered per week moving forward, an increase of 17%, as states and regions have been forced to close mass vaccination sites due to strained supply.
Read more.

Chesterfield launches tool to help residents pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine
While the tool does not reserve a vaccine, it does collect contact information, so the Virginia Department of Health can contact residents to make an appointment once the vaccine is available.
Read more.

Chesterfield leaders call Virginia’s COVID vaccine plan 'totally defective'
The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors has called out Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and other state leaders for the unavailability of COVID-19 vaccine both across Virginia and within the county.
Read more.

Virginia reports its first case of more contagious COVID-19 variant
The first case of the COVID-19 variant called B.1.1.7 has been identified in Virginia, state health officials confirmed Monday. Read more.

Frustration grows as vaccine supply shrinks: 'You can't get a shot'
As some Virginians grow frustrated with their inability to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Richmond and Henrico Health District held a briefing on Monday to discuss how they're handling the roll out, while shipments of the vaccine are expected to stay stagnant. Read more.

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts to receive just 6,400 weekly vaccine doses for foreseeable future
Barring an unforeseen change, Henrico and Richmond Health District officials will receive only about 6,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine each week for the foreseeable future – about a quarter of the doses the districts requested. Read more.

University of Richmond adds new restrictions to combat rise in COVID-19 cases
The University of Richmond made some changes to their coronavirus-related restrictions after a rise in the number of positive cases among students. Read more.

How schools are trying to prevent COVID-19 from spreading
As some students in Henrico and Chesterfield prepare for their eventual return to the classroom, a health expert said even with high caseloads, proper mitigation strategies are proving effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Read more.

Virginia lags in reporting vaccine race and ethnicity data
Virginia is lagging behind when it comes to tracking COVID-19 vaccinations by race and ethnicity compared to other states, according to public health data. Read more.

Why Virginia is changing vaccine distribution approach
Virginia’s state vaccine coordinator said that the Virginia Department of Health will change how it allocates doses of the COVID-19 vaccine due to the on-going shortage of the vaccine and that if the supply does not increase, it could take between two to three months to finish vaccinating those eligible under Phase 1A and 1B of the rollout.
Read more.

'I feel like Chesterfield is being left out,' woman says about vaccine rollout
Frustration and anger are the two primary emotions Chesterfield resident Kathy Heath feels right now.
"I've been trying to get information for my parents so that they may be vaccinated," Heath said.
Read more.

Chesterfield teachers, parents urge School Board to reconsider return to in-person learning
If the students are returned back to school at this time with the numbers as high as they are, then its going to continue to increase the community spread of the infection," parent Kate Flynn said.
Read more.

Experts discuss how rollout of COVID-19 vaccines could be improved
Likely the biggest immediate challenge of the Biden administration is improving the vaccine rollout. His new COVID-19 team has said it aims to administer 100 million shots for 50 million Americans in the first 100 days of office. It’s a plan some are still challenging.
Read more.

Virginia health official says no vaccines have gone to waste
A top health official said Thursday that he's confident no COVID-19 vaccine doses have gone to waste in Virginia, despite mounting criticism over the state's sluggish inoculation rate and questions about where shots have been distributed.
Read more.

Virginia vaccine shortage may not improve until March: 'We're going to have to be patient'
We're going to have to be patient, as we get through 1B, we're going to work really hard to focus on our most vulnerable -- the elderly and those with underlying conditions," Dr. Danny Avula, the Richmond-Henrico Health Director tasked with managing statewide vaccination rollout, said. "And, as well, at the same time, ensure that we create opportunities for folks in that essential worker/1B to get vaccinated. But, given the supply demands we're facing it is going to be a couple of months."
Read more.

Next phase begins: Where and when you can get your COVID-19 vaccination
The next phase of the vaccination rollout began, putting front line essential workers, teachers, people 65 and older, those living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps next in line to receive the COVID 19 vaccine.
Also included in Phase 1b are people with underlying medical conditions, between the age of 16-64.
Read more.

Virginia breaks record with nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in single day
Officials with the Virginia Department of Health called Sunday's case counts "a complete and accurate picture of the daily numbers."
Read more.

Chesterfield unveils timeline for 'monumental effort' to vaccinate teachers, school staffers
Teachers and staffers at Chesterfield County Public Schools could begin receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week, district leaders posted on Facebook Saturday evening.
Read more.

'Roadblock' blamed for Virginia's lagging COVID-19 vaccination rollout
Health leaders, responding to criticism about the speed of the state’s vaccination rollout, said Saturday they are hitting a "roadblock" with the number of doses they are receiving from the federal government. Read more.

50th GRTC employee tests positive for COVID-19
The employee, who is quarantined and recovering at home, had public-facing duties and was last on the job Saturday, Jan. 9, according to GRTC officials. Read more.

Health departments in Virginia share COVID-19 vaccine rollout details
Health departments across Virginia are releasing more details about how the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered as more Virginians become eligible for the shots next week. Read more.

Richmond residents sign up for utility relief program: 'It’s a God gift from heaven'
The Richmond Department of Public Utilities is offering utility relief for those who fell on hardship due to COVID-19. DPU representatives were on site at The Market on N. 25th St. Friday to hand out and accept applications. Read more.

Virginians urged to ‘be patient’ during COVID-19 rollout
Nearly half of all Virginians are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, but officials are imploring residents to be patient.
“That’s a major logistical effort and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Gov. Northam warned during his COVID-19 press conference on Thursday. Read more.

State unveils new guidelines: 'Schools need to be open'
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday a path for more schools to reopen as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the community. Read more.

COVID-19 vaccine information for people in parts of rural Virginia
The Piedmont Health District announced it will begin Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Tuesday. The district encompasses the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward. Read more.

'Mass vaccination centers’ planned in Virginia to reach 50,000 shots daily goal
The doctor in charge of Virginia's vaccine rollout plan said mass vaccination centers are in the works as Gov. Ralph Northam revealed Thursday that nearly half of all Virginians will soon be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine .Read more.

Biden unveils $1.9T plan to 'beat' the coronavirus and steady economy
President-elect Joe Biden released initial details of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan that aims to stem the surging pandemic, speed up vaccinations and provide further financial help to Americans, as well as local governments and businesses dealing with almost a year of economic declines. Read more.

VCU poll: Majority of Virginians say they are likely to receive COVID-19 vaccine
A majority of Virginians say they are very likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU. Read more.

Walgreens expanding free rapid antigen tests across Virginia
The Virginia Department of Health is expanding its partnership with Walgreens to offer free rapid COVID-19 testing across the Commonwealth. Read more.

Richmond, Henrico to begin vaccinating frontline workers in Phase 1b
The Richmond and Henrico region was set to move into Phase 1b of their vaccination process Monday, according to health leaders — meaning frontline workers and those 75 and older were eligible to get the COVID vaccine. Read more.

Some simple ideas to help manage the pressure during sometimes unmanageable days
The COVID-19 pandemic and other current events have applied a lot of pressure on people. For some, that pressure has led to uncharacteristic or even downright dangerous behavior. Read more.

VCU medical students can now receive COVID-19 vaccine
Beginning Tuesday, VCU says medical students who have direct contact with patients can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The university says the next phase of their vaccine rollout plan comes after more than 8,600 health care workers were vaccinated over the course of four weeks. Read more.

VEA calls on schools to go all-virtual until staff are vaccinated
As coronavirus cases continue to surge in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Education Association president is calling for all public schools to move to all-virtual instruction until staff members have been vaccinated. Read more.

Find out when you can get your COVID-19 vaccine
As doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being distributed to health care workers and those who live and work in long term care facilities, you might be wondering when you will be eligible for a vaccination. Read more.

How Richmond pharmacy owner plans to allay COVID-19 vaccine 'skepticism'
Greeting customers with a smile underneath her mask and helping people get the food they need has been Shaaron Atkins-Comfort's mission throughout the pandemic. Read more.

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COMPLETE COVERAGE: COVID-19 HEADLINES (App users, click here for a complete list.)

LATEST COVID-19 U.S. AND WORLDWIDE STATS