It doesn’t look like Gov. Northam’s holding a COVID-19 press briefing today, but Virginia Secretary for Public Safety Brian Moran was on WRVA a little while ago to talk about the vaccine rollout, etc. Here are some highlights. (by the way, this show was much, MUCH better with guest host Gary Hess than with the usual right-wingnut host, John Reid…).
- The preliminary COVID-19 “positivity rate” this morning was “less than 10%,” and “that number has stabilized over…the last several days” after a “peak in mid-January,” so “that’s treat news.”
- “The vaccinations, today’s preliminary numbers, we’ll have over 50,000 administered doses of vaccine…we’re averaging about 33,000 per day…it does concern me that this inclement weather…might slow some of our mass vaccination sites…I do worry about that…but we’ve been very vigilant about getting these doses out the door…I think we’re turning the corner and being aggressive with vaccinations.”
- We’ll start seeing numbers from the new pharmacy vaccinations program by next week. “I think, really, the only thing holding us up now is the supply [of COVID-19 vaccine]…We’d like to increase the doses at these mass vaccinations [sites] and once that supply’s available, we’ll do just that.”
- On reopening schools, Moran said the administration left it to individual school districts, and some have gone back. The key is to “do it safely”; the CDC has said “the data supports if done well, you can [reopen schools] safely.” “We all know getting kids back in the classroom has to be a goal, it’s so important for so many reasons – educate these kids, but also for their mental health…everyone’s trying to do their best.” Teachers are being vaccinated. “And hopefully we’ll be able to pursue summer school; you’ve got to make this time up somehow, I mean you can’t forfeit a whole year of education.”
- As for potentially loosening COVID-19 restrictions, Moran said the concern is about he “variants” out there, as “this is a virus that’s changing.” So we first need more data on the variants – “lethality,” “transmission rates,” etc. “Caution right now is the word, because these variants do exist in Virginia.”