Northam ‘confident’ Virginia can look at lifting restrictions at the end of summer

Northam ‘confident’ Virginia can look at lifting restrictions at the end of summer

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Touting vaccine progress during a state-wide briefing Monday, Governor Ralph Northam said half of the adults in Virginia now have at least one dose of vaccine in them.

That progress has Northam looking to the summer months, and how he will change pandemic restrictions.

NBC12 spoke with Northam in Richmond prior to the Tyson’s Corner briefing in Northern Virginia Monday afternoon.

“Then we’ll look at May and June. Certainly continue to encourage outdoor venues. We know that the chances of contracting the virus are much less when we’re outdoors. But I’m confident, Henry, that by the end of May, mid to end May, most adults who will have wanted the vaccine can get vaccinated, and I think after that we can really lift a lot of these measures,” Northam said.

The governor also said at some point the vaccination process will shift in Virginia from people showing up to health department clinics to rely more and more on pharmacies and doctor’s offices, especially as vaccines are approved in the future for children.

“The method that we’ve always used is to have children be vaccinated through their providers, whether it be a family practitioner or a pediatrician, and so we’re planning on that as well. So that’s something parents need to start thinking about,” Northam said.

But Northam also cautioned against COVID-19 variants. They are keeping daily case counts higher than he likes, so until the state reaches herd immunity, Northam says everyone must do their part.

“While Virginians are going through the vaccination process, we’ve got to continue to follow the guidelines of wearing our masks, social distancing, hand washing because that’s what’s going to put this pandemic behind us,” Northam said.

Northam did alter restrictions for drama clubs to align the activity with recreational sporting restrictions.

Rules on outdoor track competitions were also clarified to make sure runners keep six feet of distance at the start line.

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