Virginia Department of Health To Close Some Vaccination and Testing Centers Monday, Others To Delay Opening Due to Weather

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is closing some vaccination and testing centers and will delay the opening of others on Monday, January 17, 2022 due to inclement weather. Centers in two cities will remain open.

The Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) in Charlottesville and Roanoke will be closed Monday, January 17 along with the Community Testing Center (CTC) in Charlottesville.

The centers in Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Henrico (Richmond) and Prince William will open at noon on Monday and close at the usual time. Chesterfield, Fredericksburg and Roanoke do not yet have testing centers.

The CVCs and CTCs in Norfolk and Newport News will be open Monday with regular hours.

VDH closed its Community Testing Centers (CTCs) on Sunday, January 16, with the safety of the public and staff in mind.

All vaccination and testing centers are expected to be open on Tuesday.

Individuals who need to reschedule a testing appointment can do so at vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointments.

To find a vaccine or an appointment at a CVC or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. Walk-ins are welcome at CVCs, but appointments are encouraged to avoid extended wait times.

Virginia to Outfit all EMS Agencies in the Commonwealth with Nationally Renowned Handtevy System

(Richmond, Va.) –  After an extensive evaluation process, the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has chosen to offer the Handtevy suite of lifesaving tools to EMS agencies in the state. Handtevy is a national leader in pediatric emergency technology, and their partnership with the Virginia Office of EMS will provide the groundbreaking Handtevy resuscitation system to all EMS agencies in the Commonwealth.

“The Virginia Office of EMS is very excited to enter into this collaboration with Virginia’s Regional EMS Councils and Handtevy to bring this technology to the EMS system,” said Gary Brown, director, Virginia Office of EMS. “Giving pediatric patients the highest level of treatment and transport has always been a priority for our office, and this collaboration will serve to enhance that level of treatment now, and in the future.”

The Handtevy resuscitation system will empower Virginia EMS agencies to consistently deliver the highest quality emergency care to approximately 8.6 million residents. In order to get the most out of the system and the latest in lifesaving techniques, the rollout will be paired with Handtevy’s signature educational offerings, which include the highly acclaimed nationally accredited Handtevy Course that has received great feedback from municipal agencies that have already launched the system with positive results.

The company’s core technology solution, known as Handtevy Mobile, will also be deployed on cellular devices, including tablets and cellphones, putting crucial, lifesaving technology at the EMS team’s fingertips.

The combination of high impact education with an application that can be used in real-time and that integrates with the prehospital medical record is the breakthrough pioneered by the Handtevy team. EMS personnel and other frontline healthcare professionals in all 50 States use Handtevy Mobile to obtain accurate medication dosing for pediatric emergencies in seconds. These doses are customized around each department’s unique formulary and seamlessly crossover to the electronic health record to ensure timely and precise documentation.

Included with Handtevy Mobile is “CPR Assist,” an app feature that leads high-performance EMS teams through the highly regimented Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) bundle. By using the auditory and visual cues provided by the app, clinicians accurately maintain compression and ventilation rates, defibrillate as needed, and administer accurate medications and equipment, all while documenting the event in real time. It’s a unique feature that brings calm to the chaos of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for both children and adults.

In pediatric emergency situations, seconds count and leading EMS departments count on Handtevy to help them save lives. Virginia’s decision to utilize Handtevy across the Commonwealth as their go-to, frontline, lifesaving tool will undoubtedly lead to many additional lives saved each year.

Handtevy was founded by Dr. Peter Antevy, a nationally recognized expert in the field of pre-hospital pediatrics. His passion for solving this complex issue stemmed from a medication error he made early in his career that led him to drastically impact currently accepted practice. He is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and also serves as the EMS Medical Director for Davie Fire-Rescue, Coral Springs Fire Department, Southwest Ranches Fire Rescue and American Ambulance. Dr. Antevy is also the Associate Medical Director for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and serves as the President of the Greater Broward EMS Medical Directors’ Association, an organization whose providers serve the 1.5 million residents of Broward County, Florida. For his efforts, Dr. Antevy was awarded the prestigious Raymond H. Alexander EMS Medical Director of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2018 he was named the National EMS Medical Director of the Year by the NAEMT. He also was honored as one of the 2015 Top Ten Innovators in EMS by JEMS. For more information on the Handtevy System visit www.handtevy.com

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COMMUNITY VACCINATION CENTERS TO REOPEN WEDNESDAY 

(RICHMOND, Va.) —  The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will reopen all of its Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Individuals who cannot get to CVC sites early on Wednesday or who cannot keep appointments can reschedule by visiting vase.vdh.virginia.gov.

All CVCs, except the Fredericksburg site, will open with new regular hours as follows:

Fredericksburg: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Charlottesville: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Chesterfield: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fairfax: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Newport News: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Norfolk: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Prince William: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Richmond: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Roanoke: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Monday, VDH made the decision to close the CVCs, including the Military Circle Mall location in Norfolk, out of an abundance of caution for patients and staff. Inclement weather is in the forecast later in the week and VDH will continue to monitor the situation and alert the public about any changes made to the CVC schedules. Please continue to check VDH’s website and social media accounts for this information.

Individuals are advised to reschedule missed vaccine appointments as soon as possible. Second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be safely extended up to 42 days after the first dose is given. Thus those who had scheduled a return date of 21 or 28 days after their first dose still have some time to receive a timely vaccine. Those who miss the opportunity to get a second dose within 42 days should still proceed with a second dose and will be considered fully vaccinated, though per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is limited information on the effectiveness of receiving a second dose beyond 42 days.

Community Vaccination Centers offer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines along with booster doses. More than 250,000 vaccine doses have been administered at the CVCs since they opened in October 2021.

To find a vaccine or an appointment at a CVC or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. Walk-ins are welcome at the CVCs, but appointments are strongly encouraged to avoid extended wait times.

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COMMUNITY VACCINATION CENTERS TO BE CLOSED TUESDAY DUE TO SNOW AND EXPECTED FREEZING TEMPERATURES

(RICHMOND, Va.)—  The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will again close all of its Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, as some areas of the state deal with several inches of snow and expected freezing temperatures overnight.  Individuals with appointments will be notified of the cancellation and can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov to reschedule.

On Monday, VDH made the decision to close all of the CVCs, including the Military Circle Mall location in Norfolk, out of an abundance of caution for patients and staff. VDH will decide Tuesday afternoon whether to open the CVC sites on Wednesday.  Please check VDH’s website and social media accounts for this information.

Individuals are advised to reschedule missed vaccine appointments as soon as possible. Second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be safely extended up to 42 days after the first dose is given. Thus those who had scheduled a return date of 21 or 28 days after their first dose still have some time to receive a timely vaccine. Those who miss the opportunity to get a second dose within 42 days should still proceed with a second dose and will be considered fully vaccinated, though per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is limited information on the effectiveness of receiving a second dose beyond 42 days.

Community Vaccination Centers offer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines along with booster doses. More than 250,000 vaccine doses have been administered at the CVCs since they opened in October 2021.

To find a vaccine or an appointment at a CVC or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.govor call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. Walk-ins are welcome at the CVCs, but appointments are strongly encouraged to avoid extended wait times.

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COMMUNITY VACCINATION CENTERS TO BE CLOSED MONDAY DUE TO EXPECTED INCLEMENT WEATHER 

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is closing all of its  Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) on Monday, January 3, 2022, due to expected inclement weather with some areas of the state expected to see several inches of snow.  Individuals with appointments will be notified of the cancellation and can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov to reschedule.

VDH made the decision to close the centers located in Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Prince William, Richmond and Roanoke out of an abundance of caution for patients and staff.  While no vaccinations will be offered at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, the site will remain open for COVID-19 testing from 2-6 p.m.

VDH will decide Monday afternoon whether to open the CVC sites on Tuesday.  Please check VDH’s website and social media accounts for this information.

Individuals are advised to reschedule missed vaccine appointments as soon as possible. Second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be safely extended up to 42 days after the first dose is given. Thus those who had scheduled a return date of 21 or 28 days after their first dose still have some time to receive a timely vaccine. Those who miss the opportunity to get a second dose within 42 days should still proceed with a second dose and will be considered fully vaccinated, though per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is limited information on the effectiveness of receiving a second dose beyond 42 days.

Community Vaccination Centers offer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines along with booster doses. More than 250,000 vaccine doses have been administered at the CVCs since they opened in October 2021.

The best time to prepare for severe winter weather is now, before temperatures drop significantly and staying safe and warm becomes a challenge. Visit the VDH website to learn more about winter safety.

To find a vaccine or an appointment at a CVC or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. At CVCs appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times, but walk-ins are welcome.

World AIDS Day #WorldAIDSDay

World Aids Day logo

World AIDS Day takes place December 1 of each year.  It is a time when people across the world can take the opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS, show support for those living with HIV, and remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses.  Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

You can read more about World AIDS Day on HIV.gov.  Shareable images can be found on the HIV.gov website as well as through Greater Than AIDS.

Show your support this World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon or sharing web resources.  Get tested and update your HIV status.  Learn about advances in HIV prevention and care.  There are many ways to get involved.  The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has expanded the availability of our in-home HIV testing program during COVID-19 to meet the needs of Virginians.  If you are interested in receiving a test kit mailed directly to you, visit the program REDCap page.

Virginia’s Comprehensive Harm Reduction (CHR) program provides new syringes and needles, disposes of used syringes, refers participants to drug treatment and medical care, distributes Naloxone (to reverse overdoses), provides education and counseling, provides testing for HIV, hepatitis and other diseases, and provides referrals to social services and insurance.  The program has found previously-identified HIV-positive persons and re-engaged them into medical care.  For more information on the Virginia CHR program or to find locations, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/disease-prevention/chr/.

For Virginia Medication Assistance Program clients:  remember that open enrollment for 2022 has started.  Be sure to visit www.myvamap.com and take action before January 15 to make sure you have health coverage for the 2022 year.

The Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline is available to answer questions and provide resources Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  You can reach a counselor at (800) 533-4148.

First Death in Virginia from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with COVID-19 Reported

(Richmond, Va.) —The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed a death from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first death from MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was between 10 and 19 years old and resided in the Prince William Health District. To protect privacy, and out of respect for the family, no other patient information will be disclosed.

MIS-C, previously called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is a health condition associated with COVID-19. The first reports of this syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April 2020. U.S. cases were first reported in New York City in early May of 2020. Virginia has reported 111 cases to date.

“We are devastated by this sad news, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this child,” said Virginia Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “COVID-19 continues to cause illness, hospitalizations and deaths across Virginia and the U.S.  As we enter a time of year when families are traveling and gathering for holidays, we urge all Virginians to take steps to protect themselves and their families. Please get vaccinated if you are eligible. Practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings, as appropriate. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available to anyone age 5 and older at multiple locations across the Commonwealth.”

Dr. Oliver provided information and guidance on the syndrome to health care providers in Virginia in a May 15, 2020 Clinician Letter which urges all health care providers in Virginia to immediately report any patient who meets the MIS-C criteria to the local health department.

MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs. Most children with MIS-C have ongoing fever, plus more than one of the following: stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, bloodshot eyes, and dizziness or lightheadedness.

Parents should go to the nearest hospital/emergency room for medical care if a child is showing any severe MIS-C warning signs such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away; confusion or unusual behavior; severe abdominal pain; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

The CDC issued a Health Advisory on May 14, 2020 about the syndrome. It is not currently known how common it may be for children to experience these symptoms. For more information on MIS-C visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/mis/.

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula on CDC Recommendation of Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Doses

(Richmond, Va.) – The following statement is from Virginia’s state vaccination coordinator Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH.

“Virginia welcomes the decision from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support booster shots for certain people who previously received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has been working with its vaccination partners — pharmacies, healthcare providers, hospitals and other institutions — to prepare for this rollout. We are confident that we will have enough supply, and that access will be widely available.

“VDH is also establishing other vaccination sites to ensure eligible Virginians will be able to access a booster dose when it’s recommended. There is no need to rush to get your booster at six months and one day. VDH will provide information about accessing a booster dose on vaccinate.virginia.gov where you can search for and schedule a booster vaccination appointment.”

VDH’s top priority remains increasing vaccination rates in Virginia because those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines nearby, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.

Rabies Awareness Week

Rabies is a virus that is commonly found in Virginia’s wildlife, especially in certain wild animals such as raccoons, skunks and foxes. It’s important to remember though that any mammal can get rabies and so it’s helpful to take some basic precautions to protect you and your pets from being infected. World Rabies Day is September 28, and it is a global health observance to raise awareness about rabies and bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide.

Remember to protect yourself and your pets from rabies exposures by following these simple steps:

  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Remember to  keep their vaccinations up-to-date. 
  • Contact your local health department or animal control authorities if your pet is attacked or  bitten by a wild animal. Depending on the situation, keep in mind that your pet may need a  rabies booster vaccination and be restricted to your property for a period of time after the  wildlife exposure.  
  • Wash animal bite wounds thoroughly and report the bite to your local health department.  
  • Limit the possibility of exposure to rabies by keeping your animals on your property. Don’t let  pets roam free. 
  • Keep garbage or pet food inside. Leaving garbage or food outside may attract wild or stray  animals. 
  • Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly, and NEVER keep wild animals  as pets. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. If you see an animal acting strangely, especially if  rabies exposures may have occurred, report it to your local animal control department and do  not approach it. 
  • Contact the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for  guidance if you think a wild animal needs help. DO NOT take matters into your own hands. 
  • Bring stray domestic animals, especially if they appear ill or injured, to the attention of local  animal control authorities. If you think a stray animal needs help, contact your local animal  control office for guidance.

 

Rabies Awareness Week is September 21 through October 3

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROMOTING SEPTICSMART WEEK, SEPTEMBER 20-26, 2021

(RICHMOND, VA) – Governor Northam and the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Office of Environmental Health Services are promoting SepticSmart Week again this year.  The Governor has issued a proclamation recognizing September 20th to the 26th as Septic Smart Week in the Commonwealth. SepticSmart Week is an annual event focused on educating homeowners and communities on the proper care and maintenance of their septic systems.

“VDH understands how septic systems can be out of sight out of mind for some Virginians.  However, proper use and maintenance of your system is vital to protecting the health of your family, your community, and the environment.  We encourage owners to follow the simple Septic Smart tips year round to protect their investment and their health,” said Lance Gregory, Director, Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services.

There are approximately 1.1 million households in Virginia served by onsite sewage (septic) systems to treat their wastewater. Septic systems provide a cost-effective, long-term option for treating wastewater, particularly in sparsely populated areas. When properly installed, operated, and maintained, these systems help protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and maintain a community’s economic vitality.

Here are some helpful tips on how to be SepticSmart:

  • Think at the Sink! What goes down the drain has a big impact on your septic system. Fats, grease, and solids can clog a system’s pipes and drainfield.
  • Don’t Overload the Commode! A toilet is not a trash can. Disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, and cat litter can damage a septic system.
  • Don’t Strain Your Drain! Use water efficiently and stagger use of water-based appliances. Too much water use at once can overload a system that hasn’t been pumped recently.
  • Shield Your Field! Tree and shrub roots, cars, and livestock can damage your septic drainfield.
  • Keep It Clean! Contamination can occur when a septic system leaks due to improper maintenance. Be sure your drinking water is safe to drink by testing it regularly.
  • Protect It and Inspect It! Regular septic system maintenance can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs and protect public health.
  • Pump Your Tank! Ensure your septic tank is pumped at regular intervals as recommended by a professional and/or local permitting authority.

SepticSmart Week 2021 encourages homeowners, wastewater professionals, and state, tribal, and local officials to design and maintain effective systems to safeguard your family’s health, protect the environment, and save money. Be part of the solution by visiting VDH’s Water and Wastewater Services webpage and www.epa.gov/septic for more resources and information.