Home COVID-19 Video: Gov. Northam’s 2 pm Press Conference on COVID-19, Vaccinations, etc.

Video: Gov. Northam’s 2 pm Press Conference on COVID-19, Vaccinations, etc.


See below for video and highlights from today’s 2 pm briefing by Gov. Ralph Northam on COVID-19, presumably the Parole Board, etc.

  • Gov. Northam is optimistic about our vaccination numbers in Virginia. We are 8th in the country in terms of doses used; almost 1 in 4 have received at least one dose – that’s more than 2 million Virginians (more than 1 million fully vaccinated). That includes those who received the 1-dose J&J vaccine, which Gov. Northam and the First Lady received…and they are feeling great.
  • It’s exciting our country has three safe and effective vaccines. Spoke with nation’s governors and Dr. Fauci this morning. Good news: 1) starting next week, federal government increasing weekly allocations of the J&J vaccine by 5x; 2) another potential new vaccine, this one made by AstraZeneca; 3) federal government launching extensive education campaign across the country about how vaccines are safe and they work.
  • We are averaging around 50k doses per day. We feel good about where we are with vaccinations and are continuing to ramp up. Last week, mass vaccination clinics opened in Danville and at Virginia State University in Petersburg, and we’re opening one today in PW County (will run 6 days a week). Thanks everyone involved in these efforts. The clinics are extremely well-run, “well-oiled machines.” Grateful to front-line workers still treating people with COVID.
  • We’re moving pretty quickly through priority populations, and as more vaccine supply comes to Virginia, we suspect it’s a matter of weeks to open it up to anyone who wants to be vaccinated. We’re on track to have vaccines available to every adult by May 1, and “I’m confident that we will exceed it.” Virginia has done our part and you have done your part, and the results are real.
  • There’s still a lot of virus out in the community. Numbers have hit a plateau, but still a vast improvement over where we were 6 weeks ago. % positivity around 5.6%, down from 17% in early January. We’re seeing fewer hospitalizations, fewer ICU admissions. All in all, things are going well, just need to get everyone vaccinated. All the vaccines work well, protect yourself and those around you. This is how we get back to normal.
  • Looking at ways to safely ease mitigation methods, such as at outdoor venues. Starting on 4/1, social gathering may have up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Entertainment venues may operate up to 30% of capacity, up to 500 people outdoors. Outdoor venues can operate up to 30% but won’t have a numeric cap. Number of spectators allowed for recreational sports will increase to 100 indoors, 500 outdoors. etc. Graduation events outdoors capped at 5,000 people and 30% of capacity; indoors at 500 people or 30% of capacity. Need to keep wearing masks. We’re not just throwing the door open; these are measured changes. We’ll continue to closely follow the data and see how things goes, but it’s up to Virginians. Vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, but only if we take them.
  • Violence and rhetoric aimed at Asian Americans is unacceptable; “hate and bigotry have no place in our Commonwealth or in our country.” Virginia needs to be a place where everyone feels safe. We condemn intolerance, hate and racism in our Commonwealth in all of their forms.
  • Yesterday, another mass shooting in Boulder, CO, following the Georgia shootings. We mourn with families/loved ones of all the victims. More examples of a long list of tragedies driven by men with access to firearms. Virginia passed common sense gun safety legislation to help protect the public. We need similar action at the federal level.
  • Reiterates the importance of getting kids back to school in person. Has visited a number of schools and is  very impressed with what staff and students are doing. Goal is to have children back in the classrooms by this fall.
  • Parole board – Northam says he supports parole, that this issue should NOT be political, that there should be an independent investigation.

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