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BY THE NUMBERS as of 10 a.m., March 24Current 7-Day Positivity Rate PCR Only State: 5.6%Peninsula Health District: 8.7%James City County: 6.3%Statewide Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths Cases: 607,234 (increase of 1,267 over previous day)Hospitalizations: 25,948 (increase of 128 over previous day)Deaths: 10,137 (increase of 10 over previous day)James City County Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths Cases: 4,127 (increase of 3 over previous day)Hospitalizations: 136 (no change)Deaths: 69 (no change)VACCINATIONSStatewideVaccine doses administered: 3,149,418 (increase of 26,228 over previous day)People fully vaccinated: 1,142,467 (increase of 8,633 over previous day)James City County Vaccine doses administered: 42,342 (increase of 101 over previous day)People fully vaccinated: 16,173 (increase of 17 over previous day) LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 Did you receive an email from WJCC COVID Vaccine Clinic asking you to register for an appointment at the Greater Williamsburg Clinic? It’s not a scam! Vaccine appointment emails are being sent to those in 1a and 1b. Still not sure? Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line for Vaccine Distribution in the Greater Williamsburg area: 877-724-1954.GOVERNOR’S OFFICEGovernor Northam Announces Limited Capacity Increases for Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings, Some Entertainment Venues as Vaccinations Rise: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4657VACCINATE VIRGINIA – MARCH 23 UPDATEVirginia is administering vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. All three vaccines are safe and virtually eliminate the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. While there are a variety of differences between the three vaccines, the most important is that Johnson & Johnson only requires one dose rather than the two doses required by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Vaccine brands are assigned to clinics based on logistics needs such as shipping quantities and storage temperatures, and not based on demographics or geography. A comparison fact sheet is available in English and Spanish.There are still simply not enough doses available yet for everyone who is eligible to receive them. Virginia will not meet the demand for Phase 1b until April. Unfortunately, it may still be weeks before vaccination appointments become available for those who have pre-registered.The doses Virginia receives from the federal government are allocated by the Virginia Department of Health to local health districts, primarily in proportion to each district’s population. Local health districts are expected to determine the most equitable and efficient use of each allocation, leveraging any combination of their own staff and volunteers, hospitals, pharmacies, and individual providers. Additional doses help support targeted equity initiatives. Other doses reach some residents of Virginia through separate federal allocations to certain retail pharmacies; employees of the U.S. Department of Defense and certain other agencies; the Indian Health Service; and a federal contract to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities.While local health districts are allowed flexibility in how doses are administered to eligible individuals, roughly half of the available supply should be used for people aged 65 or older. The other half should be used for frontline essential workers, people with high-risk medical conditions as identified by the CDC; and people in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps. Frontline essential workers should be prioritized in the order listed in the Phase 1b details. When a local health district has moved to Phase 1c, other essential workers should be prioritized in the order listed in the Phase 1c details.Anyone who receives the first dose of vaccine will receive the second dose three or four weeks later as appropriate. Vaccine providers should not hold back their current first dose supply for second doses; they will receive second doses in proportion to the first doses they administer.Each essential worker in Virginia should pre-register at vaccinate.virginia.gov or 877-VAX-IN-VA. To protect employee health information and promote equity among employees of many types of businesses and organizations, employees are no longer being pre-registered through employers. Employers are still encouraged to raise awareness among employees of the importance of getting vaccinated and how to pre-register, and to work with local health districts when it would make sense to hold on-site clinics for employees who are already pre-registered and eligible.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on March 8 about what people can do when they are fully vaccinated (which occurs two weeks after their final vaccine dose). The guidance notes that because public health researchers are still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19, even people who are fully vaccinated should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Executive Order 72 maintains limits on social gatherings; the requirement to wear masks in public places; guidelines for businesses; and other provisions.More than 300 retail pharmacy locations in Virginia are expanding to provide vaccination appointments to anyone eligible in Phase 1b, which includes people age 65 and older, people with high-risk medical conditions, and frontline essential workers. These appointments were previously only available based on age. Individuals interested in getting vaccinated at a local pharmacy may visit VaccineFinder.org to find eligible pharmacy locations, hours, phone numbers, and scheduling links where available. While many pharmacies have continued to work directly with local health districts to vaccinate vulnerable populations, some pharmacies have online scheduling for vaccine appointments.The Virginia Department of Health announced that some local health districts are beginning to transition to Phase 1c. The decision to move from one phase to the next is made in coordination with local and state health officials and is dependent upon a variety of factors. Before moving to 1c, local health departments must have made strong efforts to reach all those eligible in 1a and 1b populations -- particularly communities that have been disproportionately impacted, such as communities of color -- and must have determined that demand has decreased among 1a and 1b populations. Everyone who lives or works in Virginia should continue to pre-register by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682) from 8 a.m.- 8p.m., seven days a week.Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) have opened in the Chesterfield/Petersburg, Danville, Portsmouth, and Prince William areas. These high-volume vaccination clinics are organized by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Health in collaboration with local health districts; funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and operated by a turnkey contractor. Like local clinics, CVCs are by appointment only, with invitations sent to eligible individuals on the statewide pre-registration list. CVC locations were selected based on an equity analysis to determine the communities with the most vulnerable populations and the greatest impact from COVID-19. Additional CVCs will open across Virginia in the coming weeks.Everyone should verify and update their pre-registration records now by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA, because the form includes additional questions that were not available on previous forms. If a record is missing important information, vaccination appointments may be delayed. People who have already been vaccinated should still update their records, because it will help match them to the immunization database to prevent them from receiving weekly reminders. Verifying information and updating records will not change pre-registration dates or reference codes. The statewide vaccine pre-registration system has received more than 12 million views and more than 1.3 million pre-registrations since its launch on February 15. A public information toolkit is available to assist local health districts, localities, and community partners with graphics, talking points, frequently asked questions, and other materials.The central Vaccinate Virginia phone number, 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), has received more than 421,000 inbound calls so far and placed more than 413,000 outbound calls to schedule appointments from the state pre-registration list at retail pharmacies and Community Vaccination Centers. The number is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Service is available immediately in English and Spanish, with real-time interpreter services available in any of more than 100 languages as needed.FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION People are reporting getting emails and texts asking them to complete a limited-time COVID vaccine survey. In exchange, people are offered a free reward, but asked to play shipping fees. This is a scam. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/03/ignore-bogus-covid-vaccine-surveyPREVIOUSLY RELEASED INFORMATION HAVE YOU PRE-REGISTERED FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINATION WITH THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH?- Pre-registration website: https://vaccinate.virginia.gov- You can also call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), seven days a week from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Language translation and TTY services available.- Please list your race/ethnicity when you sign up for your vaccine and on the day of your appointment. We ask because this helps to ensure fair and equitable vaccine access and distribution to all Virginians.- Updated Frequently Asked Questions from the Virginia Department of Health: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-faq/vaccination/LOCAL INFORMATION- COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line for Vaccine Distribution in the Greater Williamsburg area: 877-724-1954- Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.williamsburgva.gov/791/COVID-19-Vaccine-FAQsCOUNTY NEWS ON COVID-19 - Health Districts, Localities and Health Systems Join Forces Under Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/civicalerts.aspx?AID=4625- COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program---- Do you live in James City County, the City of Williamsburg or York County?---- Have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?---- Are you behind in your rental payments?You may be eligible for rental assistance. Call 757-259-5340 or email email@example.com for more information.- If you are a JCC resident and have questions about the CARES Act for your water or sewer bill contact James City Service Authority at 757-259-5416 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and put CARES Act in the subject heading. For those that have applied please monitor your account.FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE Virginia COVID-19 Briefing, March 23, 2021: https://youtu.be/2NELZ-uoKWsVIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - What is herd immunity? Herd immunity happens when most of the people in a community are immune to an infectious disease, meaning they can be exposed to someone who has the disease and not get sick. People can become immune either by having the disease or by getting vaccinated against the disease. For a disease like COVID-19, herd immunity makes it harder for the virus to find someone to make sick. Vaccinating a lot of people is the best way to get herd immunity without people getting ill. So, until we reach herd immunity, continue to wear a mask inside and outside when you are around people not in your own household, stay at least 6 feet apart from other people, keep away from large crowds, wash your hands often, and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn.- Federal Retail Pharmacy Partners Expand Vaccines to Virginians 16-64 with High-Risk Medical Conditions and Frontline Essential Workers: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4633CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION - Updated - Test for Current Infection: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html- Updated - Holiday Tips: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html- Updated - How COVID-19 Vaccines Get to You: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/distributing.html- Updated - How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines with friends and family: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/talk-about-vaccines.htmlFEMA- Due to the large amount of speculation regarding COVID-19 vaccines, remember to rely on OFFICIAL sources to get information. Help control the spread of rumors by sharing this page: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/rumor-control fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/rumor-controlSCAMS- FBI and Virginia Department of Health Partner to Warn of Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4639TESTING - Who should get tested for COVID-19? https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/ADD YOUR PHONE TO THE COVID FIGHT - COVIDWISE is Virginia’s official exposure notifications app that lets you know if you’ve likely been exposed to another COVIDWISE user with a positive COVID-19 test result. COVIDWISE is free to download on your smartphone and designed to completely protect your privacy. The more Virginians that use COVIDWISE, the better you can be informed of potential exposure, which helps reduce your risk while protecting your family, friends and community. COVIDWISE is now connected to the National Key Server, which lets COVIDWISE anonymously share data with exposure notifications apps from other states. Visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covidwise/ for more information.NEED HELP OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES?- If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others:---- Call 911---- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746---- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224COVID-19 INFORMATION - Virginia Department of Health (VDH): www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus, Phone: 1-877-ASK-VDH3- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/Media Contact:Renee Dallman, Public Information Officer757-253-6605; email@example.com