2021 News Releases

October 22, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Liaison Dr. Danny Avula on CDC Recommendation of Moderna, J&J Booster Doses and ‘Mixing and Matching’

(Richmond, Va.) – On October 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced recommendations for booster shots for certain people who previously received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines. Virginians will be able to receive boosters for Moderna and J&J beginning today. more>>


October 21, 2021

VDH Awards $6M Grant to VCU Health System to Strengthen Infection Prevention and Control Capacity in Virginia

(Richmond, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) awarded a $6 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System to establish a statewide infection prevention training center. The new Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center, to be designed and implemented by VCU, will work in tandem with healthcare facilities and public health to strengthen infection prevention and control expertise and provide universal infection prevention and control training to frontline providers. more>>


October 19, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisories Remain in place for North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches of Lake Anna; In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties

(Richmond, Va.) – The North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches, including Terry’s Run, of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are continuing to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in this area. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The area to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at the Algal Bloom Surveillance Map. A status report containing the updated advisory areas may be viewed at Lake Anna Status Report 10.18.21  more>>


October 18, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Adds COVID-19 Data Dashboard for Cases Among Children
Figures Will Show Hospitalizations And Deaths

(Richmond, Va.) —Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced it has added a COVID-19 in Virginia: Cases Among Children dashboard to display COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for children aged 0 to 17 years. The dashboard is being added because of the increase in COVID-19 cases among children across the state since the end of the summer. Since March 2020, VDH reports that there have been 127,997 COVID-19 cases among children 0 to 17 years, 380 hospitalizations and nine deaths. more>>


October 15, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Liaison Dr. Danny Avula on FDA Advisory Committee Vote on Moderna, J&J Booster Doses

(Richmond, Va.) – This week, an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted in favor of recommending booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. more>>


October 14, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Announces Updates to Vaccine Dashboards
Data now available for third doses and boosters

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that data about boosters and third doses have been added to its vaccine dashboards. This enhancement to the dashboards is another step in VDH’s continued efforts to provide timely and accurate information in a transparent way to the public about our COVID-19 vaccine response.  more>>


September 24, 2021

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. more>>


September 20, 2021

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. more>>


September 17, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula on FDA Advisory Committee Vote on Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Doses

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

“Today, an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted in favor of recommending booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Virginians 65 years and up and those at high risk for severe COVID-19.  This is simply a recommendation at this point, and booster doses will not be available in Virginia until the FDA issues an updated authorization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues new guidance. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice is scheduled to meet September 22-23, and we do not expect CDC to release recommendations before late next week at the earliest. more>>


September 17, 2021

VDH’s Harmful Algae Bloom Advisories Remain in place for North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches of Lake Anna; In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within these Locations of the Lake

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches, including Terry’s Run, of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are continuing to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) advises the public to avoid contact with the lake in this area until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The area to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at the Algal Bloom Surveillance Map. A status report containing the updated advisory areas may be viewed at Lake Anna Status Report 9.17.21. more>>


September 16, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Incorporates Vaccination Data from Jurisdictions in Maryland

(RICHMOND, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has incorporated vaccination data from jurisdictions in Maryland. Virginians who received vaccinations in Maryland that were not reported through the Virginia Immunization Information System are now included in the locality and statewide dashboards. more>>


September 16, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Announces Launch of QR Codes to Verify COVID-19 Vaccination Status
~ QR codes are secure and private for users, easy for businesses ~

RICHMOND The Virginia Department of Health today announced the addition of QR codes – a type of barcode that can be scanned with smartphones – to Virginia COVID-19 vaccination records.

QR codes – short for “quick response” – are commonly used in retail, logistics, and other sectors. The technology allows anyone to show proof of vaccination with a digital or printed QR code instead of a paper card, and without the need for an app. As more and more employers and businesses respond to calls by President Biden and Governor Northam to require that employees and customers be vaccinated, QR codes will help improve the consistency and security of vaccination information while protecting individual privacy. more>>


September 14, 2021

Virginia Health Officials Report Measles Cases in Central and Northern Health Regions
Most U.S. residents receive measles vaccinations during childhood

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has identified five individuals diagnosed with measles and is reaching out to people in the Central Health Region and the Northern Health Region who may have been exposed to those individuals. The people confirmed to have measles recently traveled from Afghanistan as part of the United States government’s emergency evacuation efforts. more>>


September 10, 2021

Statement from State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) applauds President Biden’s initiatives, announced September 9, to meet the growing challenge of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, which is now powering a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States and in Virginia. With the U.S. averaging close to 150,000 cases and about 1,500 deaths per day, primarily attributable to the Delta variant, it is imperative we do all we can to beat back this surge. more>>


September 7, 2021

VDH Expanding Testing Across the Commonwealth
Testing expanded to meet community needs

(RICHMOND, Va) –In response to an increasing number of individuals seeking testing, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is expanding testing events across the Commonwealth. The action comes as cases of COVID-19 are rising, due to the Delta variant, a more contagious variant than the others currently circulating throughout the state. more>>


September 2, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Awarded National Accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board
Accreditation through PHAB Demonstrates Virginia Department of Health’s Commitment to Excellence in Serving the Community

Richmond, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has been awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Established in 2007, PHAB is the nonprofit organization that administers the national accreditation program, which aims to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation. more>>


September 1, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution in Severe Wet Weather

(Richmond, Va.)— The remnants of Tropical Storm Ida are affecting areas of the state this week. This storm, in addition to the storm events across Virginia this week, could create dangerous recreational water conditions in creeks, rivers and areas along the coast. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to be prepared for dealing with severe weather and, once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities. more>>


August 31, 2021

CDC Awards Virginia $4.3M to Scale Up Community Health Workers to Support Covid-19 Response and Recovery

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded more than $4.3 million to the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), which applied for funding on behalf of the Virginia Department of Health and a host of collaborating partners, to expand the roles and capacity of community health workers (CHWs) in supporting COVID-19 response and recovery in the Commonwealth. The funded effort entitled, Community Health Workers for a Healthy Virginia (CHWs for a Healthy VA), will also explore innovative financing strategies to help build and sustain the CHW workforce long-term. The CDC grant is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act of 2020. more>>


August 26, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Age 0-9 Fatality with COVID-19
A Child in the Northern Region has Passed Away 

(RICHMOND, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a child in the Northern Region with COVID-19 has died. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the first reported death of a child in the Northern Region with COVID-19 in Virginia. more>>


August 26, 2021

Virginia Department of Health and Governor Northam Recognize August as Immunization Awareness Month

(Richmond, Va) – On Thursday, August 26, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) joined Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to celebrate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of immunization for people of all ages. ImmunizeVA, a statewide coalition of immunization stakeholders, received the Governor’s Proclamation in recognition of the month. Governor Northam was also joined by mascots of various Virginia colleges and universities to hype up and help spread awareness among families in their respective communities. more>>


August 25, 2021

Governor Northam to Celebrate National Immunization Awareness Month in Richmond, Virginia

On Thursday, August 26, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam will join Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU to celebrate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Immunization Awareness Month. more>>


August 25, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Reinstates COVID-19 Outbreaks Dashboard

(Richmond, Va.) —  On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reinstating the Outbreaks by Selected Exposure Settings Dashboard in the VDH COVID-19 Data Insights dashboards.  The dashboard includes information on outbreaks that occurred in  medical care facilities, residential or day programs licensed by VDH, Department of Social Services (DSS) or Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), summer camps, K-12 schools, colleges and universities and long-term care facilities. more>>


August 23, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula On Food and Drug Administration Granting Full Licensure to Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine

(Richmond, Va.) – The following statement is from state vaccination coordinator Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH. “We at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) are pleased that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to grant full licensure to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for persons ages 16 years and older. This action comes after rigorous review and study by scientists and other researchers at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” more>>


August 23, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Updates Case Rates by Vaccination Status Dashboard to Better Inform Public of Vaccine Effectiveness

(Richmond, Va) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) updated its COVID-19 Cases by Vaccination Status dashboard on Monday, August 23, 2021, to more accurately represent the impact of vaccinations on infection rates in the Commonwealth. more>>


August 19, 2021

Norfolk Health Department Offers Free COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccines at Maury High School

(NORFOLK, Va.) – The Norfolk Department of Public Health is offering free COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at Maury High School, at 322 Shirley Drive in Norfolk. more>>


August 17, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula On Booster Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines for the General Population, Third Dose for Immunocompromised Person

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is monitoring discussion at the federal level and the possibility of mRNA vaccine booster doses (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), following approval last week of third doses for immunocompromised persons. more>>


August 17, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Extended for North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches of Lake Anna; Advisory Remains in Place in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within these Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) – The North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches, including Terry’s Run, of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are continuing to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in this area until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. more>>


August 16, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution In Advance of Severe Wet Weather

(Richmond, Va.)— Tropical Storm Fred may impact areas of the state this week. This storm, in addition to the storm events across Virginia this week, could create dangerous recreational water conditions in creeks, rivers, and the areas along the coast. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to be prepared for severe weather and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities. more>>


August 13, 2021

Virginia Will Provide Third Doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines for Immunocompromised People

(Richmond, Va.) — Today the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that Virginia will make third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines available for moderately and severely immunocompromised Virginians, starting as early as August 14. This move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its vaccination guidelines to recommend third mRNA doses for people who have significantly compromised immune systems. Vaccines are readily available throughout Virginia, and vaccine providers are expected to make third doses available over the next several days as they adapt their processes. more>>


August 10, 2021

CORRECTED: VDH Expands Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory for North Fork of the Shenandoah River from Chapman’s Landing to Riverton
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the River in Shenandoah and Warren Counties 

(Strasburg, Va.) – The North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Shenandoah and Warren Counties is experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB).  To ensure the safety of people, pets, and livestock, the Virginia Department of Health is expanding its advisory to include the river from Chapman’s Landing to Riverton Boat Ramp (approximately 52.5 miles).  Please avoid contact with toxic algal mats (slimy or scummy materials) that have been found in several areas of the river.  This material may be attached to the river bottom, floating on the water or on the surface, or present along shorelines. more>>


August 6, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Announces Significant Increases in Delta Variant in Virginia

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced a significant increase in the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) throughout the Commonwealth. The Delta variant is  dominant nationwide and is the most common variant in Virginia. The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily as earlier strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  Eighty percent of infections that occurred during the week ending July 10th that were caused by a variant of concern and reported to VDH were the Delta variant. This is an increase of 45% since the week of June 19th. The more infectious delta variant is contributing to a surge of cases in Virginia. more>>


August 5, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Age 10-19 Fatality with COVID-19
Child in the Eastern Region Passed Away from Complications

(RICHMOND, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a child in the Eastern Region has died from complications of COVID-19. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the first reported death of a child in the Eastern Region with COVID-19 in Virginia. more>>


August 4, 2021

VDH Lifts Recreational Advisory for James River Due to Sewage Release; Recommends the Public Use Caution in Tuckahoe Creek Through the Week

Public Advised to Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water in Tuckahoe Creek

(Richmond, VA) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is lifting the recreational advisory issued July 29 for the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland, and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in the City of Richmond due to results from recent testing. more>>


August, 3, 2021

VDH and Metaculus Launch Round 2 of the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament
Reputation-Based Community Forecasting Has Informed COVID-19 Modeling and Planning in VA Since the Launch of Round 1 in April
Round 2 Will Help Assess COVID-19’s Epidemiological Trajectory and the Impact of Variants in the Fall

(Richmond, VA )– With every community in Virginia experiencing the profound effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, VDH and Metaculus partnered to launch the first round of the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament in April, to inform science-backed public health policymaking within the Commonwealth. more>>


July 30, 2021

VDH Issues Update for Recreational Water Advisory in Tuckahoe Creek and Parts of the James River Due to Sewage Release
Public Advised to Continue to Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water

(Richmond, VA) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is issuing an update for the recreational water advisory issued July 29 for Tuckahoe Creek beginning at River Road, including the Eastern and Western Branches of Tuckahoe Creek, and the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland, and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in the City of Richmond. more>>


July 30, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Expanded for North Fork of the Shenandoah River – in Shenandoah County
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the River 

(Strasburg, Va.) – The North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Shenandoah County is experiencing a benthic harmful algae bloom (HAB) caused by cyanobacteria. Out of an abundance of caution, the public is advised to avoid contact with blue green algal mats and scum in the river from Lower River Road to Strasburg. more>>


July 29, 2021

VDH Issues Recreational Water Advisory for Tuckahoe Creek and Parts of the James River Due to Sewage Release

Public Advised to Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water

(Richmond, VA) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is issuing a recreational water advisory for all of Tuckahoe Creek beginning at River Road, including the Eastern and Western Branches of Tuckahoe Creek, and the James River from Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield, Goochland, and Henrico counties to Belle Isle in the City of Richmond. more>>


July 26, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Partners with Washington Football Team to Promote COVID Prevention and On-Site Vaccinations at Training Camp
Interactive events will feature a Healthcare Heroes Combine, a VIP Experience for select frontline workers, and a mobile COVID-19 vaccination site.

(Richmond, Va.)The Virginia Department of Health and COVIDWISE, Virginia’s free COVID-19 Exposure Notifications app, are going to have a major presence at Washington Football Team’s Training Camp, which will take place at the Bon Secours Training Center (2401 W Leigh St., Richmond, VA 23220) from July 27 through July 31. more>>


July 23, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for North Fork of the Shenandoah River – in Shenandoah County
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the River

 (Strasburg, Va.) – The North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Shenandoah County is experiencing a benthic harmful algae bloom (HAB) caused by cyanobacteria. Out of an abundance of caution, the public is advised to avoid contact with blue green algal mats and scum in the river from Bethel Road to Strasburg. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Cyanotoxins, including those identified at this location can be fatal to dogs and other animals when ingested. The cyanobacteria in this portion of the river creates algal mats. The cyanobacteria are producing toxins which are contained within the mat material only – avoid contact with mats by people and animals. The area of the river where algal mats should be avoided can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


July 21, 2021

Virginia Departments of Health and Education Release Updated Guidance for PreK-12 Schools
PreK-12 schools will make locally-informed decisions on masking and prevention measures, as informed by CDC recommendations

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education today released new guidance for PreK-12 schools for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. The Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Virginia PreK-12 Schools reinforces the importance of in-person learning and supports school divisions in making decisions on masking and other prevention measures, as informed by local data and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. more>>


July 20, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for North Anna Upper and Middle Branches, Upper Pamunkey Branch advisory remains in place – Lake Anna
In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within this Location of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) – The North Anna Upper and Middle Branches in addition to the Upper Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna; in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties is experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in this area until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The area to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


July 9, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Announces New Dashboard to Show COVID-19 Cases By Vaccination Status and to Track COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases

(RICHMOND, VA ) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) COVID-19 in Virginia dashboards now include information on the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. They also include data to track COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Vaccine breakthrough means someone who is fully vaccinated develops COVID-19. more>>


July 8, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Second Age 0 – 9 Fatality with COVID-19

(RICHMOND, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a child in the Rappahannock Area Health District died from complications of COVID-19. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the second reported death in a child under 10 years old with COVID-19 in Virginia. more>>


July 7, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution In Advance of Severe Weather 

(Richmond, Va.) — Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to impact areas of the state this week. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to be prepared for severe weather and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities.

Heavy rains can increase the risk of animal waste and the potential release of inadequately treated wastewater from sewage treatment plants. Bacteria, debris, and other pollutants in rainwater runoff end up in rivers, lakes and streams, which can pose risks to human health and safety. Rain events also cause flooding and fast-moving waters, especially in low-lying areas. more>>


July 2, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Reminds Residents to Be Aware of the Risks of Heat-related Illness
Enjoy the outdoors this holiday weekend, but make sure to stay hydrated, use sunscreen and take time to cool off

(Richmond, Va.)—Many Virginians will celebrate the July Fourth holiday with trips to beaches and parks and backyard cookouts. The Virginia Department of Health reminds residents enjoying time with family and friends to be aware of the signs of heat-related illness, particularly in those more vulnerable to extreme temperatures.

Hot temperatures, high heat indexes and hot, sunny conditions can cause ill health effects. During the most recent heat wave, from June 28 through July 1, a total of 206 visits were made to emergency departments or urgent care centers in Virginia as a result of heat-related illnesses. more>>


July 1, 2021

VDH Reminds Virginians of Important Role of Masks to Protect Against COVID-19
Masks are an Effective and Legal Way to Help Protect Yourself and Others

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health reminds Virginians that while vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19, masks are also an important tool to protect yourself and others.

Public health officials encourage Virginians to continue to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and allowed by law. There is no legal barrier to wearing masks to protect oneself and others from the virus, nor should anyone be penalized for doing so. While the state law prohibits wearing a mask for the purpose of concealing one’s identity, it does not prohibit wearing a mask for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is true even now that Virginia is no longer under a statewide declaration of emergency. more>>


July 1, 2021

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Upper Pamunkey Branch – Lake Anna In Orange and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within this Location of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health is advising that the Upper Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna in Orange and Spotsylvania counties is experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in this area until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The area to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


June 22, 2021

VDH Adds New Variant of Concern to the COVID-19 Variants of Concern Dashboard
 Includes Information on Variants of Concern 

(Richmond, Va.) — On Friday, June 18, 2021, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH),  added the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) to the Variants of Concern (VOC) Dashboard. This variant was changed recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from a variant of interest to a variant of concern. more>>


June 22, 2021

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RELEASES UPDATE TO COVIDWISE APP

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that its free COVID-19 exposure app, COVIDWISE, now makes it easier for users to find and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. more>>


June 21, 2021

VDH Announces Nearly 150 Pharmacies Will Expand Hours for COVID-19 Vaccination as part of the National Vaccine Month of Action

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that five pharmacy partners will expand their hours on certain days through July 4 to provide COVID-19 vaccination as part of the National Vaccine Month of Action, a collaborative effort led by the White House that includes businesses, national organizations and community-based partners working together to promote vaccination. more>>


June 15, 2021

VIRGINIA AWARDED $30.6 MILLION FROM CDC TO ADDRESS HEALTH INEQUITIES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $30.6 million to Virginia to address health inequities created and exacerbated in high-risk and underserved communities by the COVID-19 pandemic. more>>


June 12, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution Following Recent Heavy Rains

(Richmond, Va.) — Following heavy rain events in parts of the Commonwealth this week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to avoid flooded areas, and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities. more>>


June 8, 2021

VIRGINIA’S COVIDWISE EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION APP CAMPAIGN IS HONORED WITH A TELLY AWARD AND TWO EMMY NOMINATIONS
The “Students for COVIDWISE” video was produced with Virginia State University. 

(Richmond, Va.) – A Virginia Department of Health (VDH) public service video for the COVIDWISE exposure notification app has won a Telly Award and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards. more>>


May 19, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard Updated to Reflect Federal Doses in Totals and Progress toward Adult Vaccination Goals

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today the COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard was updated to reflect federal doses administered in the total number and percentage of Virginians vaccinated, as well as the number and percentage of adults vaccinated. more>>


May 17, 2021

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK IN VIRGINIA RECOGNIZES EMS PROVIDERS’
DEDICATION TO SAVING LIVES
May 16 – 22 is National EMS Week

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Over the last year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an immeasurable strain on everyone, especially Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. Through the height of this public health crisis, our first responders have continued to deliver lifesaving emergency care to the communities they serve. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.56 million calls for help in Virginia, which represents approximately 4,280 incidents per day. more>>


May 13, 2021

State-run Community Vaccination Centers to Begin Offering COVID-19 Vaccine to Adolescents on Friday

(Richmond, Va.) — Virginia’s state-run Community Vaccination Clinics (CVCs) will begin offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents aged 12-15 on Friday, following federal approval Wednesday of the vaccine for that age group. more>>


May 12, 2021

Virginia to Begin Vaccinating Those Aged 12-15 Following Federal Approval
Two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in adolescents 

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that providers across the Commonwealth can begin vaccinating those aged 12-15 following federal approval today of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescents. The vaccine previously was approved for use in those aged 16 and older, while two other available vaccines are approved for those 18 and older. more>>


May 10, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula on FDA Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for those 12 and Older

(Richmond, Va.) – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents aged 12 to 15. The EUA previously covered those aged 16 and older. more>>


April 29, 2021

Metaculus and VDH Launch the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament
Reputation-Based Community Forecasting on the Trajectory of COVID-19 Cases, Vaccines, and Interventions to Support the Development of Science-Informed Policy

RICHMOND, VA — This year, the World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week holds special significance. Over a dozen new COVID-19 vaccines are being widely distributed in communities around the world. After more than a year of challenges, these vaccines bring hope that the global pandemic may soon come to an end. more >>


April 23, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula on Federal Action Regarding Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted their recommended pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, following the recommendation of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that the vaccine should be cleared for use by all adults. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will follow that guidance and instruct providers across the Commonwealth that they are free to resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately. more>>


April 23, 2021

VDH and DCLS Launches COVID-19 Variants of Concern Dashboard
Includes Information on Variants of Concern 

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), in collaboration with the Department of General Services’ (DGS) Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (state public health lab), launched a COVID-19 Variants of Concern dashboard.  The dashboard includes variants of concern received from participating laboratories for specimens that tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. more>>


April 16, 2021

First Cases of P.1 COVID-19 Variant Identified in Virginia

(RICHMOND, VA) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant P.1 have been identified in two samples from Virginia residents. One case was identified in an adult resident of the Northwest Region who had a history of domestic travel during the exposure period and the second case was identified in an adult resident of the Eastern Region with no history of travel. Neither case had a record of COVID-19 vaccination prior to illness onset.  more>>


April 13, 2021

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula on Virginia Death Connected to Johnson & Johnson Investigation

(Richmond, Va.) — This afternoon, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) confirmed to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) that it is examining the March death of a Virginia woman as part of its investigation into possible adverse side effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. more >>


April 13, 2021

 Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula On Pause in Administration of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine

(Richmond, Va.) — We are closely monitoring the actions by the federal government to pause all Johnson & Johnson vaccinations while it investigates an extremely rare possible side effect. In Virginia, we will cease all Johnson & Johnson vaccines until this investigation is complete. If you have an upcoming appointment for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will be contacted to reschedule that appointment. more>>


April 6, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Announces ASL Capabilities for Vaccine Call Center
Videophone 1-877-VAX-IN-VA or “ASL Now” at vaccinate.virginia.gov

(Richmond, Va.) —The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announces a new service for Deaf and hard of hearing Virginians who use American Sign Language (ASL). VDH partnered with Connect Direct, a subsidiary of not-for-profit Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), to provide support in ASL for the Vaccinate Virginia Call Center during standard operational hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. ASL users have two ways to connect to this service, by videophone at 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682) or by clicking the “ASL Now” button at vaccinate.virginia.gov. more>>


March 31, 2021

2021 County Health Rankings Show How Virginia Is Improving
Report ranks localities in Virginia by health outcomes and health factors

(Richmond, Va.) — Arlington County ranks healthiest in Virginia, according to the annual County Health Rankings, released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org. more>>


March 25, 2021

First Cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429 COVID-19 Variants Reported in Virginia

(RICHMOND, VA) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.427 and B.1.429 in samples that were collected between December 2020 and February 2021 from Virginia residents. The B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants, which first emerged in California in the summer of 2020, are associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with these variants cause more severe disease. These two variants were only recently added to CDC’s Variant of Concern list. more>>


March 24, 2021

VDEM and VDH Urge Individuals to Not Travel to Community Vaccination Centers Without an Official Appointment or Invitation

(RICHMOND, VA) — Today, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that only those individuals who receive an appointment or invitation to attend a Community Vaccination Center (CVC) event will be permitted inside to be vaccinated. CVCs currently are intended for people eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1 in Virginia, who are at higher risk for exposure to or severe illness from COVID-19. more>>


March 20, 2021

2020 GOVERNOR’S EMS AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
EMS Providers and Organizations Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Virginia’s EMS System

(RICHMOND, Va.) – On Saturday, March 20, the 2020 Governor’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Award winners were announced during a virtual presentation of the Governor’s EMS Awards. These awards, given in Governor Ralph Northam’s name, recognize outstanding EMS providers and organizations from across the Commonwealth for their demonstrated level of excellence and dedication to the EMS system. more>>


March 17, 2021

Federal Retail Pharmacy Partners Expand Vaccines to Virginians 16-64 with High-Risk Medical Conditions and Frontline Essential Workers

(RICHMOND, VA) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that Federal Retail Pharmacy partners will expand within Phase 1b to offer vaccines to individuals who are 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, as well as frontline essential workers, including:  more>>


March 17, 2021

National Child & Adult Care Food Program Week Through March 20, 2021

(Richmond, VA) – This week is National Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week through March 20, 2021. The goal of CACFP is to serve nutritious meals to children attending childcare homes and centers. CACFP also works to establish positive eating habits at the earliest stages of development, reduce future health care and education costs due to lack of proper early development and train and support local childcare personnel. Research indicates that the CACFP is one important factor in providing quality childcare. more>>


March 16, 2021

Some Virginia Health Districts to Begin Transition to Phase 1C Vaccinations

(RICHMOND, VA) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that some health districts will begin the transition to Phase 1c vaccinations this week, and that all communities across Virginia should be able to open to this group of essential workers within weeks. more>>


March 16, 2021

VDEM and VDH Open Community Vaccination Centers Statewide

(RICHMOND, VA) — The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have started to open Community Vaccination Centers across the Commonwealth to administer COVID-19 vaccinations on a larger scale. The site in Danville opened March 15; the site in Portsmouth will open March 16; Petersburg will open March 17; and Prince William is scheduled to open next week. more>>


March 12, 2021

CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® Campaign Returns for 10th Year with New Ads to Help Virginians Quit Smoking 

(Richmond, VA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign is entering its 10th year with new ads that encourage people who smoke to quit. The Tips campaign is the nation’s first federally funded tobacco education campaign and has helped more than 1 million U.S. adults quit smoking and inspired millions more to try to quit. more>>


March 12, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Updates COVID-19 Recommendations for Healthcare Settings and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Updates Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

(RICHMOND, VA) – Healthcare facilities in Virginia can expand visitation practices for residents and their families, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced March 10.  On March 10, the CDC released Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination for all healthcare settings, including but not limited to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  At the same time, CMS released updated COVID-19 Guidelines and Revised Visitation Recommendations for certified nursing homes in response to significant reductions in COVID-19 infections and transmission resulting from ongoing infection control practices and high vaccination rates in the nursing home population. more>>


March 11, 2021

First Case of B.1.351 COVID-19 Variant Identified in the Northern Region of Virginia

(RICHMOND, VA) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of the Northern Region of Virginia who had no history of travel during the exposure period. The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease. To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in 20 other U.S. states or jurisdictions. more>>


March 8, 2021

First Case of B.1.351 COVID-19 Variant Identified in the Central Region of Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of the Central Region of Virginia who had no history of travel during the exposure period. The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease. To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in 19 other U.S. states or jurisdictions. more>>


March 4, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Confirms First Age 0 – 9 Fatality with COVID-19

(RICHMOND, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a child in the Central Virginia Region died from complications of a chronic health condition and COVID-19. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the first reported death in a child under 10 years old with COVID-19 in Virginia. more>>


March 2, 2021

First Case of B.1.351 COVID-19 Variant Identified in the Northwest Region of Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Northwest Virginia who had no history of travel during the exposure period. The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease. To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in 15 other U.S. states or jurisdictions. more>>


February 27, 2021

Virginia to Begin Offering New, One-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Next Week Following Federal Approval

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that a new single-dose COVID-19 vaccine will begin being offered in Virginia next week following federal approval of a third vaccination that has been proven to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from the disease. more>>


February 27, 2021

First Cases of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant Identified in the Southwest Region of Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced yesterday that the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 have been identified in samples from three adult residents of Southwest Virginia who had no history of travel during their exposure periods. VDH investigated all three cases and their close contacts and managed them appropriately. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Preliminary reports from experts in the United Kingdom indicate that this variant causes more severe illness than other variants, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. To date, the B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in 44 other U.S. states or jurisdictions. more>>


February 24, 2021

First Case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant Identified in the Central Region of Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Central Virginia who had no history of travel during the exposure period. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. A preliminary report from experts in the United Kingdom indicates that this variant causes more severe illness than other variants, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. To date, the B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in 44 other U.S. states. more>>


February 24, 2021

Additional Pharmacy Networks Added to Federal Partnership to Provide No-Cost COVID-19 Vaccines

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that additional pharmacy networks are beginning to administer COVID-19 vaccines to those age 65 and older as part of a federal partnership that will bring an additional 52,000 vaccines into Virginia this week. more>>


February 22, 2021

VDH Announces Walgreens Adding More Stores to Provide Testing at No Cost
COVID-19 tests now offered at 26 locations across Virginia

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that Walgreens has added seven additional stores to its partnership with VDH to provide Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing at selected Walgreens locations across the Commonwealth. This arrangement increases the number of Walgreens locations that will operate drive-thru COVID-19 testing at no cost to the public from 19 to 26 stores. more>>


February 18, 2021

First Case of B.1.351 COVID-19 Variant Identified in Southwest Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Southwest Virginia who recently returned to Virginia after international travel. All contacts of the case have been identified and appropriately managed. The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease. To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in nine other U.S. states. more>>


February 18, 2021

Winter Weather in United States, Virginia Impacts Vaccine Delivery
Second major winter storm to hit Commonwealth on Thursday into Friday

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Virginia is seeing delays in this week’s vaccine shipments because of severe winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic region and in the country. Storms are bringing cold weather and precipitation to the region.  The Commonwealth will likely see a delay in the delivery of approximately 106,800 doses, due to distribution channels in the Midwest and elsewhere that are currently shut down. more>>


February 16, 2021

Virginia Launches Central Pre-Registration Website for COVID-19 Vaccine
‘Vaccinate.Virginia.gov’ to go live on Tuesday February 16; Statewide hotline to launch Wednesday

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health today launched a new, centralized website that allows Virginians to easily pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine. This ‘one-stop-shop’ website allows individuals to pre-register online, check that they are pre-registered, and access additional information on Virginia’s vaccination roll-out. more>>


February 12, 2021

First Case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant and Second Case of B.1.351 Variant Identified in Eastern Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that a case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Eastern Virginia with no history of travel outside of Virginia. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. A preliminary report from experts in the United Kingdom indicates that this variant causes more severe illness than other variants, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. In addition, a second case of the B.1.351 COVID-19 variant was also identified in an adult resident of Eastern Virginia. The B.1.351 variant was first identified in South Africa. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that this variant has any impact on disease severity. more>>


February 12, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Prepares for Launch of Statewide Pre-Registration System With Updates to Local Health District Websites

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health has directed local health districts to close their vaccination pre-registration forms Friday evening, in preparation to shift to a statewide system next week.  During this time, existing waiting lists will be imported to the new system and pre-registration will be temporarily unavailable throughout Virginia. Pre-registration, through the new statewide system, will be available again on Tuesday, February 16. more>>


February 9, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Launches COVIDWISE Express As Additional Tool to Boost Exposure Notifications
New additional platform informs iPhone users of potential exposure to COVID-19 without having to download an app. 

(Richmond, Va.) — Virginia is making it even easier for people to be notified of potential exposures to COVID-19. Last week, the Virginia Department of Health launched COVIDWISE Express, a new app-less exposure notifications technology for iPhone users in Virginia who do not already have the COVIDWISE app installed.  Anonymously sending and receiving exposure notifications has never been easier. Since launching, COVIDWISE Express already has more than 504,000 users in Virginia. more>>


February 9, 2021

VDH Announces Roll Out of Vaccination Program at CVS Pharmacy

(RICHMOND, VA.) CVS Pharmacy has begun registering Virginians age 65 and older who are within the Phase 1b eligibility guidelines for vaccinations as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. As of today, eligible individuals can register at https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine. CVS will begin administering vaccinations on Friday, February 12. more>>


February 5, 2021

First Case of B.1.351 COVID-19 Variant Identified in Eastern Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Eastern Virginia. VDH is currently investigating this case and assessing the person’s travel history. The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease. To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in only two other U.S. states, South Carolina and Maryland. more>>


February 3, 2021

Case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant Identified in Northwest Virginia

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that a case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Northwest Virginia who recently returned to Virginia after international travel. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. A preliminary report from experts in the United Kingdom indicates that this variant causes more severe illness than other variants, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. more>>


February 1, 2021

Statewide Availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at Local Child and Adult Care Centers

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) administers the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and disperses Federal funds to provide healthy meals, and snacks to enrolled participants.  The amount of reimbursement the center receives is based on the information provided on the CACFP Meal Benefit Income Eligibility Form (IEF).  Part of USDAs requirement is to complete the IEF.  If household income is equal or less than the income listed in the chart below for household size, the center will receive a higher level of reimbursement. The same meals will be available at no separate charge to all participants at each CACFP facility without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. more>>


January 28, 2021

Virginia Department of Health Launches Text Messaging Service To Streamline Positive
Test Result Awareness and Exposure Notifications

New messaging service will assist with timely test verification for users to anonymously
submit positive results to others.

(Richmond, Va.) — Virginia is making the process easier for people to be notified of positive COVID-19 test results — and anonymously share those results with others who may have been exposed. Starting on Thursday, January 28, 2021, VDH will begin sending a series of text messages to people who receive a positive COVID-19 viral test result in Virginia. more >>


January 25, 2021

First Case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant Identified in Virginia

(RICHMOND, VA) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Northern Virginia with no reported recent travel history. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. more >>


January 23, 2021

VDH Enhances Spanish and Other Additional Language Services on the ASK-VDH-3 Hotline

(RICHMOND, VA) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has updated the VDH hotline to make the process easier for non-English speaking callers to get COVID-19 information and other community health related information. The ASK-VDH-3 hotline recording includes a greeting in Spanish that helps callers connect with COVID-19 and other public health resources. more>>


January 19, 2021

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Higher Education
Data Dashboard Includes Information on Virginia Higher Education

(Richmond, Va.) The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has launched a COVID-19 Outbreaks in Virginia Higher Education dashboard. This dashboard includes confirmed outbreaks reported to VDH among public and private colleges and universities since August 1, 2020. This dashboard helps to provide awareness of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in colleges and universities statewide. more>>


January 14, 2021

VDH Expands Partnership with Walgreens To Offer Antigen Testing at No Cost
COVID-19 tests to be offered in fifteen Walgreens locations across Virginia   

(Richmond, Va.)The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Walgreens to provide Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing at selected Walgreens locations across the Commonwealth. This arrangement increases the number of Walgreens locations that will operate drive-thru COVID-19 testing at no cost to the public from four to fifteen stores. more>>


January 8, 2021

Select Virginia Health Districts to Begin COVID-19 Phase 1b Vaccinations Monday, January 11th

(RICHMOND, Va.) – In line with Governor Northam’s directive this week to increase flexibility and speed up vaccine distribution in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the select health districts that will begin Phase 1b vaccinations the week of January 11th. more>>

 


2020 Press Releases

December 23, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard 

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) added COVID-19 vaccine data to the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard on two new tabs, Vaccine Summary and Vaccine Demographics.  This new information will keep the public informed about the numbers of COVID-19 vaccines distributed and administered in Virginia. It will be updated daily. more>>


December 22, 2020

Virginia Begins Receiving Moderna Vaccine This Week

(Richmond, Va.) — The newest approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is being delivered to health districts and health care facilities across the Commonwealth of Virginia this week. Both the previously approved Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccines are being distributed to 96 sites this week at geographically diverse locations. more>>


December 18, 2020

COVID-19 Outbreaks by Selected Exposure Settings
Data Dashboard Includes Information on a Variety of Settings 

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched a COVID-19 outbreak dashboard in response to the requirements of HB5048 of the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Special Session. The dashboard includes outbreaks that occurred in medical care facilities, residential or day programs licensed by VDH, Department of Social Services (DSS) or Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), summer camps, and kindergarten (K)-12th grade schools.  Currently, outbreaks in long-term care facilities and K-12 schools are displayed in separate public dashboards by VDH. As of December 18, 2020, they will be incorporated into this dashboard. more>>


December 18, 2020

Virginia Now Planning for 370,650 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine By December 2020

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) was informed late yesterday by Operation Warp Speed that, like other states, Virginia’s estimated allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be less than initially planned for the next few weeks. Virginia is now planning to receive 370,650 doses of vaccine in December 2020 from two manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna. This is down from the previously expected 480,000 doses. more>>


December 11, 2020

Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDWISE Exposure Notification App Joins National Key Server To Increase Effectiveness Across State Lines
Virginia joins D.C., 15 other states participating in the unified server; COVIDWISE surpasses 885,000 downloads

(Richmond, Va.) — Virginia’s first-in-the-nation COVID-exposure notification app will now work across DC and all 15 states that have such an app. More than one in ten Virginians have downloaded and are using COVIDWISE, which notifies people if they have been physically close to someone who tested positive. COVIDWISE, Virginia’s free COVID-19 Exposure Notifications app, is now participating with the Association of Public Health Laboratories’ (APHL) National Key Server, allowing COVIDWISE interoperability with Washington, D.C. and other states’ apps that also use the server. Now COVIDWISE can communicate with other state notification apps to share anonymous bits of information or “exposure notification keys” using a national server that will enable users to find out when they may have been exposed by users from other states. more>>


December 7, 2020

VDH Announces New Contact Tracing Prioritization and Reduced Quarantine Guidelines
Virginia is Following Newly-Issued CDC Guidance

(Richmond, Va.)Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced because of substantial levels of COVID-19 community transmission, local health departments may need to prioritize contact tracing efforts for key elements of the population.  During this time of significantly high case volume, traditional methods of contact tracing are less effective. This means that some local health departments, as necessary, may not be contacting everyone with COVID-19 infection or close contacts to someone with COVID-19 infection.  more>>


December 4, 2020

Virginia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Priorities Announced
Health Care Personnel and Long-Term Care Facilities Will Receive Initial Vaccine Doses

(Richmond, Va.) As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Virginia, implementing a successful vaccination program is critical to flattening the curve and stopping the spread of this virus. Based on new information provided on December 3 by the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed, Virginia is now preparing to receive an estimated total of 480,000 doses of vaccine from two manufacturers (Pfizer and Moderna) by the end of December 2020. more>>


November 13, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution Following Heavy Rains 

(Richmond, Va.)— Following heavy rain events in parts of the Commonwealth this week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to avoid flooded areas, and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities. more>>


November 10, 2020

Contracts Awarded for Virginia’s OneLab Network to Expand Commonwealth’s Public Health COVID-19 Testing Capacity
Three laboratories will participate in a new, formalized effort to support priority public health efforts

(Richmond, Va.) The Department of General Services and Virginia Department of Health today announced the awarding of contracts to three laboratories to participate in Virginia’s new OneLab Network to expand the Commonwealth’s public health COVID-19 testing capacity.  more>>


October 29, 2020

VDH Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers to Help Local Officials Encourage Safe Voting Practices on Election Day

(RICHMOND, VA) – Hundreds of Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers throughout the Commonwealth have volunteered with the state to help provide Election Day support for in-person voting during Virginia’s COVID-19 public health emergency. MRC volunteers will help local election officials safely conduct in-person voting in their communities by encouraging appropriate COVID-19 precautions. more>>


October 23, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Announces New Outbreaks in Educational Settings Dashboard 

RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) COVID-19 data website now includes an outbreaks in educational settings dashboard which shows a line list of outbreaks in Kindergarten-12th Grade Schools by school name with associated case numbers and deaths. It shows current and previous outbreaks of COVID-19 in specific schools in Virginia. The dashboard will help schools measure the extent to which the COVID-19 virus is spreading in their localities and guide possible responses to mitigate that spread. more>>


October 22, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Website Scheduled to be Offline Saturday, October 31 for Routine Maintenance

RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will be conducting routine maintenance to the VDH external website (www.vdh.virginia.gov) on Saturday, October 31, 2020 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.  more>>


October 22, 2020

VIRGINIA CELEBRATES FARM TO CACFP WEEK
Activities Encourage Increased Awareness of Virginia Agriculture

(Richmond, VA) – Food is a foundation of living well, which is more important now than ever. This year, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will recognize Virginia Farm to Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week October 18 through 24, with virtual activities throughout the Commonwealth. Farm to CACFP connects participants to nutrition education, Virginia grown foods, and gardening opportunities. Through these activities, CACFP participants will learn about Virginia agriculture while building knowledge of and interest in healthy foods. more>>


October 15, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory lifted for Middle Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna; No advisories currently in place for Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties

(Richmond, Va.) – The advisory has been lifted for the Middle Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania. Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless, however some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Monitoring in response to algae blooms is set to resume on Lake Anna in May 2021. more>>


October 13, 2020

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ISSUES FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY FOR UPPER JAMES RIVER 

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has issued an advisory on carp consumption due to elevated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in carp caught in the Upper James River.

Recent fish tissue sample results from the Upper James River in 2018 and 2019 show PCBs levels in carp exceed the amount considered safe for long-term human consumption. more>>


September 28, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Announces New Pandemic Metrics Dashboard

RICHMOND, VA — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched a new Pandemic Metrics Dashboard, which shows a visualization of COVID-19 community transmission by region. Updated weekly, this dashboard will show: data trends for COVID-19 in specific communities; where the COVID-19 virus is spreading; and assist local and state governments in determining additional mitigation measures. more>>


September 23, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Remains in place for Middle Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna; Advisory lifted for Upper North Anna Branch – In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) –The Middle Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties continues to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in this area until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


September 18, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Confirms First Age 10 – 19 Fatality Due to COVID-19 

RICHMOND, VA — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that an adolescent resident in the Southside Health District who tested positive for COVID-19 has died. This is the first reported COVID-19 death of a child in the Commonwealth. VDH will disclose no further information about the teenager to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. more>>


September 18, 2020

VDH Announces Results of COVID-19 Serology Study
Roughly 2.4% of Adults Had Prior COVID-19 infection with Rates Higher among Hispanic Population

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the results of its Coronavirus Serology Project that was conducted during summer of 2020.  An estimated 2.4% of adult Virginians have antibody test evidence of a prior COVID-19 infection. The presence of COVID-19 antibodies was highest in Hispanic individuals (10.2%), residents of the Northern region (4.4%), and among those uninsured or insured through Medicaid (3.8%). Statewide, Hispanic ethnicity, residence in an apartment building or other multi-family housing unit, and reported contact with a COVID-19 case significantly increased the risk of having a positive antibody test. The project’s findings will help Virginia address the COVID-19 pandemic by understanding risk factors and giving the public health system and hospitals information to plan for future health care needs. more>>


September 15, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Causes Fish Kill in Indian Creek/Hampton Flats in the City of Hampton
— May impact lower James and York Rivers, Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean —

 (Richmond, Va.) – An ongoing harmful algae bloom of Alexandrium monilatum is believed to have caused a fish kill in Indian Creek in the City of Hampton. The City of Hampton and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality investigated the fish kill that was reported over the weekend of September 12 and 13. more>>


September 8, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Remains in place for Middle Pamunkey and Upper North Anna Branches of Lake Anna; Advisories lifted for Upper Pamunkey Branch and Terry’s Run –
In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) –The Middle Pamunkey and the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties continue to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


August 18, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Middle Pamunkey River; Upper Pamunkey (including
Terry’s Run) and Upper North Anna Branches Advisories Remain in Place – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) –The Middle Pamunkey Branch of Lake Anna, now in addition to the Upper Pamunkey Branch, Terry’s Run, and the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


July 22, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Enhances COVID-19 Data Reporting
New Portal Provides Access to Datasets and Includes Historical Data 

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began reporting all currently available COVID-19 datasets — including the addition of historical data — through the Virginia Open Data Portal. The portal serves to extend access to VDH data that allows the public to interpret and analyze data. Located under the Data Download section of the COVID-19 in Virginia webpage, the portal provides datasets for public use and download. Step-by-step instructions about how to navigate the pages and download the datasets are also provided by clicking on the Data Download button. more>>


July 22, 2020

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Upper Pamunkey (including Terry’s Run) as well as Upper North Anna Branches – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) – The Upper Pamunkey Branch, Terry’s Run, and the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


July 15, 2020

Virginia Department of Health, University of Virginia Partner to Collect COVID-19 Health Data
“iTHRIV Health Status Registry” Will Support Clinical Research 

(Richmond, Va.) — The Integrated Translational Health Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV), in close collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has developed an online tool to collect COVID-19 related information from volunteers who are residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The iTHRIV research team is led by Don Brown and Johanna Loomba at the University of Virginia (UVA) with guidance provided by a cross-state group of advisors. more>>


July 14, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Expands COVID-19 Regional Data Reporting
Previously Only Statewide and Northern Region Key Measures Were Available

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began providing the COVID-19 Key Measures for additional regions across the state: Central, Eastern, Northwest and Southwest. Previously, VDH only provided statewide and Northern Region key measures; data is now provided for all regions in the state. The new regional dashboards are available on the Key Measures webpage. more>>


July 10, 2020

Virginia Department of Health to Add COVID-19 Contact Tracing Data

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began reporting information related to efforts to notify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Information related to notification efforts — referred to as contact tracing — is available on the COVID-19 Data Insights webpage, located at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-data-insights/. The state-level data will be updated weekly on Fridays. more>>


June 29, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Urges Virginians to Engage with Legitimate Contact Tracers, Avoid Scams
Contact Tracers Will Not Ask for Social Security Numbers or Bank Details

 (Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) encourages all Virginians to respond and engage with legitimate contact tracing calls and emails while remaining vigilant against scams. Caller ID will read “VDH COVID Team.” more>>


June 15, 2020

VDH Office of Vital Records to Reopen Walk-In Customer Service Lobby, Expand Hours
Henrico Lobby Reopening with COVID-19 Precautions on June 17th

(Richmond, Va.) — To provide the public with same-day services, the VDH Office of Vital Records (OVR) will reopen its customer service lobby with expanded weekday hours starting June 17. The lobby is located at 2001 Maywill Street Richmond, VA 23230. more>>


June 15, 2020

Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard to Include More Detailed Race and Ethnicity Data Starting Today 

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will change how race and ethnicity data are presented, beginning today. This update will provide a more detailed look at the effects of COVID-19 on minority populations across Virginia. VDH will combine race and ethnicity information into one category and will expand the number of racial identities from three to seven. more>>


June 12, 2020

The Virginia Department of Health’s June 12 Data to Show a Sharp Increase in PCR Tests
New Numbers will Reflect Roughly 43,000 PCR Tests

(Richmond, Va.) — Today, COVID-19 diagnostic testing data reported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will reflect a sharp increase in PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests completed in Virginia.  Today’s testing report includes 43,000 PCR tests.  Two laboratories began electronic reporting to VDH this week, allowing a backlog of negative tests to be included in today’s testing report.  more>>


June 8, 2020

Statement Regarding Upcoming Increase in COVID-19 Testing Data for June 9 

(Richmond, Va.) — Starting on June 9, the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) COVID-19 data dashboard will reflect 13,000 additional tests that were backlogged. Over the next couple of days, this new information will be slowly added to the current data, which will result in an influx of results. more>>


June 4, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Shares Information on Publicly Available COVID-19 Tests

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) wants to ensure all Virginians, including those participating in ongoing protests, know how to access publicly-available COVID-19 tests. The nature of large protests means the virus may spread more easily there, especially if protesters are not wearing masks. VDH has communicated with Local Health Districts where protests have occurred. We are encouraging those districts to share information with protesters about community testing events and pharmacy locations where COVID-19 tests are available. more>>


May 30, 2020

Beach Monitoring Program Updates Status of Testing the Waters as More Beaches Open to the Public 

(Richmond, Va.)— The Virginia Coastal Beach Monitoring and Notification Program normally conducts weekly beach water samples mid-May through September, at 45 sites. When beach samples indicate an unsafe level of bacteria, the health department issues beach advisories to let the public know when there is a higher risk of waterborne illness. more>>


May 29, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Revises Method of Reporting Test Data
Updated Information Available Beginning May 30 

(Richmond, Va.) — To provide more accurate information about COVID-19 testing at the community level, Saturday the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will begin reporting COVID-19 data on testing encounters by health district using more accurate ZIP Code information. The new data will impact 37,362 test results that were previously not assigned a health district designation because incomplete patient address information was reported to VDH. more>>


May 20, 2020

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK IN VIRGINIA RECOGNIZES THE STEADFAST RESOLVE AND PERSEVERANCE OF VIRGINIA’S EMS PROVIDERS IN TIMES OF CRISIS
May 17 – 23 is National EMS Week

(RICHMOND, Va.) – When Virginians make the call for help, they rely on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to respond quickly and to supply the best emergency prehospital care possible. During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, EMS providers delivering emergent care, while protecting the health and safety of their patients and themselves, is especially important. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.66 million calls for help in Virginia, representing more than 4,500 incidents per day. more>>


May 19, 2020

First Virginia Case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Associated with COVID-19 Reported

(Richmond, Va.) —The Fairfax Health District has confirmed a case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first case of MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was hospitalized on May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home. To protect privacy, no other patient information will be disclosed. more>>


May 14, 2020

Health Commissioner Announces 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year
Annual award ceremony commemorates tribute to nurses

(Newport News, Va.)— State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver today presented the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year award to Amber Harmon, who is a Senior Public Health Nurse in the Communicable Disease Department at the Peninsula Health District. Harmon’s dedication, leadership, and her outreach to educate, volunteer and support the mission of public health has led to her recognition as the Virginia 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year. more>>


May 14, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Releases Disaggregated Testing Data; No Differences in Trends

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health today released testing data broken out by PCR (diagnostic) and antibody (serology) tests. Antibody tests make up less than nine percent of overall tests. When these tests are removed from total results, there is minimal change in the percent positive of tests and no difference in overall trends. more>>


May 1, 2020

Virginia Department of Health – Beach Monitoring Status Updates during COVID-19 Pandemic

(Richmond, Va.)— The Virginia Coastal Beach Monitoring and Notification Program normally conducts weekly beach water samples mid-May through September, at 45 sites. When beach samples indicate an unsafe level of bacteria, the health department issues beach advisories to let the public know when there is a higher risk of waterborne illness.

Local Health Districts who conduct this monitoring have evaluated their resources and determined whether monitoring could be conducted safely by their staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. more>>


April 27, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Launches New “COVID-19 & You” Web Page Tool

(RICHMOND, Virginia) – The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 web page has added a new consumer education and information topics toolbar that offers website visitors a more interactive and personalized experience.“This COVID-19 & You tool serves to answer questions for the public regarding health concerns and issues by providing interactive experiences,” said Suresh Soundararajan, VDH chief information officer. “The intent is to make the user experience better and more targeted for people looking for information regarding COVID-19.” more>>


April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Information Sharing Between Long-term Care Facilities (LTCF) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)

On Tuesday, April 21, Dr. Norman Oliver, Virginia State Health Commissioner,  announced that Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) in neighboring areas can share information on positive COVID-19 cases.  This information includes case identification and contact investigation efforts. more>>


March 14, 2020

Commonwealth of Virginia Reports First COVID-19 Death in the Peninsula Health District

(Richmond, Va.)  — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Peninsula Health District reported the death of a hospitalized patient who previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This event marks the first death in the Commonwealth of Virginia due to COVID-19. more>>


March 9, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Fourth and Fifth “Presumptive Positive” Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Fairfax and in Spotsylvania County, Virginia

(Richmond, VA.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that two Virginia residents in two different parts of the state have tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These cases mark the fourth and fifth presumptive positive test results in the Commonwealth of Virginia. more>>


March 9, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Third “Presumptive Positive” Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in State

(Richmond, VA.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that an Arlington County resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  VDH and the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) are working together to identify any close contacts of this resident who would require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.  This is the third presumptive positive result, with the other two being a Marine Base Quantico resident and Fairfax City resident.  All three cases were exposed through international travel. more>>


March 8, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Confirms Second “Presumptive Positive” Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in State 

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a Fairfax Health District resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). VDH and Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) are working together to identify any close contacts of this resident who would require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. This is the second presumptive positive result with the other being in a Marine Base Quantico resident at Fort Belvoir Hospital who tested positive yesterday. Both cases were exposed through international travel. more>>


March 8, 2020

STATUS UPDATE ON TWO PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS CASES IN VIRGINIA

(RICHMOND, VA.) – Press conference with Virginia’s state and local public health leaders on the first presumptive positive case of a Marine Base Corps Quantico resident who is at Fort Belvoir and to announce a second presumptive positive case.  The second individual is a resident of the City of Fairfax in their 80s who traveled on a similar Nile River cruise as other positive coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. more>>


March 7, 2020

First Virginia Case of COVID-19 Confirmed at Fort Belvoir

(RICHMOND, VA.) – A U.S. Marine at Fort Belvoir has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Virginia health officials confirmed today.

Governor Northam and Cabinet officials have been briefed. Officials at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and the Virginia Department of Health are working cooperatively, according to longstanding public health protocols. The teams are in regular and close communication with federal, state, local, and private sector partners. more>>


February 20, 2020

VDH Office of Vital Records Appoints New Director and Modernizes Operations
Call Center, Application Processing, Website and Office Hours have been updated

(RICHMOND, VA.) – The Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records has undertaken multiple initiatives to improve customer service. “One of the ways we’re improving customer service is by modernizing the Office of Vital Records,” said Mona Bector, deputy commissioner for administration at the Virginia Department of Health. Ms. Bector stated, “To adequately serve the needs of customers we have added capacity to our call center, provided online application status updates, and are in the process of introducing online application submissions. We are creating transparency and providing relevant information through an updated website.”more>>


February 11, 2020

Health Officials Report Virginia’s First Pediatric Flu Death of the 2019–20 Season

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reports the state’s first influenza-associated pediatric death for the 2019-20 flu season. A teenager (13-17 years old) in Virginia’s Northern region has died from complications associated with influenza. To protect the family’s privacy, VDH will not provide any further information regarding this death. more>>


January 31, 2020

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CLOSES AREA TO SHELLFISH HARVESTING

 (RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that shellfish-harvesting waters near west of Allen’s Island in the York River in Gloucester County are closed to the harvest of oysters and clams effective January 31, 2020.  This closure is the result of notification of reports of oyster-associated norovirus illness with an epidemiological link to shellfish harvested from this area. This closure is for 21 days. more>>


January 27, 2020

UPDATE: Virginia Department of Health Announces Two Patients Under Investigation Test Negative for Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health has received test results for the two Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Central Region of Virginia. The results from testing performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were negative, indicating that the two individuals do not have the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. Test results for a Patient Under Investigation in the Northern Region of Virginia are expected to be received later this week. At this time, Virginia continues to have no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV. more>>


January 26, 2020

Virginia Department of Health Announces Preparations and Activities Related to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and local health officials statewide are monitoring developments surrounding the respiratory outbreak first detected in Wuhan, China caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This is a rapidly evolving situation. To provide the latest local information and updates to Virginians, VDH has developed a novel coronavirus webpage. This webpage provides important information about the outbreak and offers resources for healthcare providers. more>>


January 24, 2020

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CLOSES AREA TO SHELLFISH HARVESTING

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health announced today that shellfish-harvesting waters near Allens Island in the York River in Gloucester County are closed to the harvest of oysters and clams effective January 24, 2020.  This closure is the result of notification of a Norovirus Outbreak in Central Virginia with an epidemiological link to shellfish harvested from this area. This closure is for 21 days. more>>