RICHMOND, Va. -- As the vaccine rollout in Richmond and Henrico has now entered Phase 2, which means everyone over 16 years of age is eligible for a shot if they want one, officials said Wednesday that shutting down the mass vaccination clinic at Arthur Ashe Center was a natural evolution of their operations.
"Where we don't just commit to a couple of large sites, but that we have several more medium-sized sites that are more proximate to people all over our service area," Richmond and Henrico Health Districts Policy Director Ruth Morrison said.
Officials said the clinic's final day will be around Friday, April 30. It will mark an end to a clinic that has been running since vaccinations began in metro Richmond and Morrison estimated dispensed nearly 60,000 vaccines.
Morrison said the large clinics will continue to run at the Richmond Raceway and with retail partners, but that the Ashe clinic will be replaced by four community hubs similar to the points on a compass.
"We'll have a hub in the north, south, east and west of our service area here in Richmond and Henrico," Morrison explained.
The southern hub is the site already running at George Wythe High School.
Morrison said the three other locations, which will be announced at a later date, will run one day a week, equaling the four days per week that the Ashe clinic offers.
"So that no matter where you live, where you work, where you frequent, that there are all kinds of vaccination event sites that are available somewhere nearby," Morrison said.
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.