Richmond, Henrico not yet ready to move to Phase 1c

'We're getting close,' officials say about seniors vaccination goal
Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 18:20:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Officials with the Richmond and Henrico Health Departments (RRHD) said Thursday they are not yet ready to move into Phase 1c as thousands of people who registered still need to be vaccinated as part of Phase 1b.

Officials said during the health district's weekly briefing on COVID-19 vaccination efforts that while 70% of seniors have gotten at least one-dose, the health department's goal is 75% of seniors.

"We're getting close," RHHD's Nurse Manager Amy Popovich said.

Officials announced they are shifting which groups get most of the health district's weekly 12,000 vaccines.

Popovich said 35% of vaccines will be reserved for those with underlying conditions and disabilities, while 35% will be set aside for essential workers.

Officials said they are not ready to open to Phase 1c, which is is still slated for April, because there are still many people in the recently opened Phase 1b to vaccinate.

"We currently have about 23,000 Phase 1b individuals who are pre-registered and have not been contacted yet to schedule an appointment," Popovich said.

Additionally, officials said the site of mass vaccination clinic on the Southside will move to George Wythe High School after only one event earlier this week at Celebration Church.

"Things went well at Celebration Church, but we've determined that George Wythe is a good location for us for a few logistical factors,"
Popovich said.

That vaccination clinic will continue to operate once per week until further notice and vaccinate between 800 to 1,000 people per event.

Officials also announced the next community hub will launch next week at St. James Baptist Church in Varina.

"This midsize location will offer about 200 vaccines to individuals reached by faith leaders and other community leaders," Popovich explained.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.