Mayor Stoney urging vaccinations as fall festivals return

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Health officials say Richmond is going in the right direction when it comes to delta variant cases, but are urging caution as the city prepares to welcome thousands of people for two popular upcoming festivals.

The 2nd Street Festival is this weekend, followed by the Folk Festival next weekend.

“We love - here in Richmond - being a festival town,” said Mayor Stoney at Wednesday’s COVID-19 update.

This will be the festivals’ first time back in person in two years, and the mayor said organizers have worked with the Health Department to keep things safe.

He advises people to be vaccinated, and perhaps wear a mask for an extra layer or protection, and if you’re still circling the idea of rolling up your sleeve, “vaccinations will also be available on-site.”

This comes at a time when city health leaders say the city is starting to round the curve on the delta variant.

“We’ve seen a decreasing trend on case counts, and that’s what we were hoping for given the rapid rise of the delta variant,” said Dr. Danny Avula. He added now is not the time to let up in the fight.

Stoney said that 47% of Richmond City is fully vaccinated, but wants to get over that 50% threshold “as quickly as possible.”

The Folk Festival at Brown’s Island is also slated to return in person, which Stoney hopes can be done safely.

“I feel confident that we can do that, and that’s why we’re here today, encouraging folks if you’re going to attend: Be vaccinated and attend, or arrive and get vaccinated at these events. And, just for another safety barrier, go head and wear a mask. I think if you can do all of those things, I think you can have a safe event.”

Stoney mentioned that the city would be holding sessions for members of the public to provide feedback on the city’s draft plan for American Rescue Plan Act funding, which has been presented to the City Council.

One session will be held tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Diversity Richmond at 1407 Sherwood Avenue.

The other will be Monday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at Boys and Girls Club Metro Richmond Teen Center at 1830 Creighton Avenue.

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