Road to Recovery: Here’s what you need to know as Virginia moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Road to Recovery: Here’s what you need to know as Virginia moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States and Virginia, here is what you should know going forward about the state’s road to recovery. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States and Virginia, here is what you should know going forward about the state’s road to recovery.

What are the numbers?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 398,856 total coronavirus cases throughout the state Sunday, a 5,141 case increase in 24 hours.

The state totals stand at 5,383 deaths with 19,095 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

A total of 4,588,152 PCR tests have been given throughout the state. The 7-day PCR testing positivity rate is currently 16.8% - up slightly since Saturday.

The rate jumped from 8.8 percent on Dec. 3 to 9.5% on Dec. 4. On Dec. 5, the positivity rate reached 10.6% and it raised to 10.9% on Dec. 8. At the peak of the pandemic, that figure was more than 20 percent.

What restrictions are in place?

As of Dec. 14, Gov. Ralph Northam’s modified “stay-at-home” order will include a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. Essential travel - obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work and seeking medical attention - will still be allowed during this time. The governor was asked multiple times if this would be enforced, he said Virginians are “asked” to stay at home.

The measures also expand the mask mandate to include all indoor settings, as well as outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible. This includes all Virginians age five and up.

When it comes to social gatherings, the governor dropped the limit to 10 people – it was previously 25. Social gatherings include parties, celebrations or other social events. The limit does not apply to religious services, employment settings or educational settings.

The executive order will remain in place until Jan. 31 unless rescinded or amended.

For more information, click here.

Vaccine

As of Jan. 10, 177,945 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Virginia. Over 12,700 Virginians are marked as “fully vaccinated,” meaning they’ve received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. More info.

Health care workers in COVID-19 units and nursing home residents are the first to get the vaccine. VDH says COVID-19 vaccines should be available to the general public in the commonwealth by the end of spring or early summer.

What are the schools doing?

Some of the largest school systems in Central Virginia have opted for virtual learning while others around the region are offering a hybrid option of in-person and virtual.

To keep up to date with what schools are doing and their COVID-19 cases, click here for full and continuing coverage.

What are colleges and universities doing?

Most colleges and universities finished out the semester online after Thanksgiving break. Many higher education institutions around Central Virginia are requiring students to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus in the spring, along with offering a mix of online and in-person classes.

What about sports?

The Virginia High school League is reversing course on its decision to require all coaches and players to wear masks during sports this winter.

The league says the requirement was issued in response to the new mask mandate handed down by the governor. But after further review of the mandate, masks aren’t required during physical activity or exercise.

Therefore, the league is recommending players and coaches wear masks, but will leave the final decision at the discretion of the school.

When it comes to college sports, each division in handling the situation differently, you can keep up with the latest on college sports - HERE.

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