2021 News Releases

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>>