PWHD COVID-19 Vaccination Blog

GOV. NORTHAM EXTENDS COVID-19 SAFETY REGULATIONS THROUGH FEBRUARY

Gov. Ralph Northam says now is not the time to get complacent.  “We are ramping up vaccinations. This is no  time to let down our guard.”  He has extended the state’s COIVD-19 regulations, which were to expired today (January 31, 2021), through the end of February.

The tougher Virginia COVID-19 regulations had gone into effect on December 14, 2020 to help stem the rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

They include:

  • Nightly curfew from midnight to 5am. (Exceptions are people traveling to and from work, traveling to get medical attention or get food.)
  • Social gatherings are limited to 10 people, this does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings.
  • Virginians ages five and older will now need to wear masks indoors when coming within 6 feet of other people.
  • Virginians are strongly encouraged to telework, if possible.
  •  Bars and restaurants have to stop serving alcohol by10pm and close by midnight.

The tighter face masks rules in Virginia are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance to help combat  COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country and in Virginia.

To see the governor’s press release click here:

https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/december/headline-886185-en.html#:~:text=Executive%20Order%20Seventy%2DTwo%20directs,25%20people%20to%2010%20people.

To see his full executive order click here:

https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-72-and-Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Nine-Common-Sense-Surge-Restrictions-Certain-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf

Teachers and Staff from Three School Districts to get COVID-19 Vaccines

Novant three school districts logos

Kim Conquest, Novant Health UVA Health System: KConquest@novanthealth.org

 Diana C. Gulotta, Prince William County Public Schools: GulottDC@pwcs.edu

Almeta Radford, Manassas City Public Schools: aradford@mcpsva.org

Deanne Perez, Manassas Park City Schools: Deanne.perez@mpark.net

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News Release from NOVANT UVA Health System, Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools and Manassas Park Public Schools:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 28, 2021

Novant Health UVA Health System, Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools and Manassas Park City Schools join forces to vaccinate school system staff

Local health system partners with all three public school systems in Prince William Health District to stop the spread of COVID-19

MANASSAS, Va., Jan. 28, 2021 – Novant Health UVA Health System, Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools and Manassas Park City Schools today announced that the health system will vaccinate employees of the three area public school districts.

Starting in February, Novant Health UVA Health System anticipates receiving a weekly allotment of 2,925 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech-COVID-19 vaccine from the Prince William Health District, based on an agreement reached on Jan. 22. This weekly allotment will supply vaccination clinics for employees of Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Schools and any Prince William County Public Schools employees who were not vaccinated at earlier clinics.

Novant Health UVA Health System has already vaccinated approximately 760 high-risk employees of Prince William County Public Schools with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine through clinics that took place at Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.

An additional 2,400 Prince William County Public Schools employees will be vaccinated with the health system’s existing Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supply during clinics planned for Saturday, Jan. 30, and Sunday, Jan. 31, at Unity Reed High School.

Employees of Manassas City Public Schools and Manassas Park City Schools have been invited to attend a vaccine clinic at Unity Reed High School on Sunday, Feb. 7, to receive their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech-COVID-19 vaccine. Novant Health UVA Health System will have the supply and capacity to inoculate 1,837 employees of the two school districts, should every employee choose to receive the vaccine.

Due to the large population size, Prince William County Public Schools has led efforts to prioritize its employees based on highest risk. The organizations estimate it will take a minimum of four to five weeks to inoculate all 11,700 Prince William County Public Schools employees with their first dose.

Weekly numbers and timelines could change, as future vaccination clinics are entirely dependent on the allocation of vaccines from the Virginia Department of Health and Prince William Health District to Novant Health UVA Health System. The vaccination program is also reliant on the availability of school nurses and non-clinical staff to support the clinics alongside Novant Health UVA Health System staff.

About Novant Health UVA Health System
Novant Health UVA Health System is an integrated network of physician offices, outpatient centers and medical centers providing patients access to advanced, quality care delivered with a personal touch. Founded in 2016, the regional Health System is a partnership between Novant Health and UVA Health System that provides subspecialty care and groundbreaking clinical trials — with the support of UVA Health System — along with urgent and primary care in Virginia. Headquartered in Warrenton, Va., Novant Health UVA Health System is committed to providing quality care close to home.  For more information, please visit our website at NovantHealthUVA.org or follow Novant Health UVA Health System on Facebook and Twitter.

About Prince William County Public Schools

Prince William County Public Schools is the second-largest School Division in Virginia. The Division serves approximately 90,000 students in 100 schools and learning centers. For more information, please visit PWCS.edu or follow Prince William Public Schools on Facebook and Twitter.

About Manassas City Public Schools

Manassas City Public Schools serves approximately 7,400 students at nine schools in Manassas, Va. The mission of Manassas City Public Schools, in partnership with the community, is to provide an innovative, engaging, inspiring, and challenging learning environment for all students. For more information, please visit our website at MCPSVA.org or follow Manassas City Public Schools on Facebook and Twitter.

 

About Manassas Park City Schools

Manassas Park City Schools serves approximately 3,400 students in Manassas Park, Va. All district schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. For more information, please visit MPark.net or follow Manassas Park City Schools on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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PWHD Update: You Need to Know — COVID-19 Vaccine and 14-Day Rule 

Information Update:  Prince William Health District/Multi-Jurisdictional Coordinated Communications Effort

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(January 26, 2021) 

Update: You Need to Know — COVID-19 Vaccine and 14-Day Rule 

Are you getting a COVID-19 vaccine?  Did you have a flu shot, shingles shot, or another vaccine 14-days before or after?

  Warning — Do Not Schedule other vaccines 14 Days Before or  After Your COVID-19 Vaccine:   

            14-DAY RULE, 14-days between vaccinations, COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot or shingles shot

  • Due to safety concerns, the CDC recommends not taking multiple vaccines within 14 days.
  • PWHD is unable to vaccinate individuals who have received another vaccination, such as flu or shingles, within 14 days before scheduled COVID-19 vaccination.
  • PWHD recommends that patients do not schedule other vaccinations  within 14 days after receiving the       COVID-19 vaccination. *

*Patients may receive emergency vaccinations (such as rabies and tetanus) within 14 days after COVID-19 vaccination.  However, if a patient receives emergency vaccination before COVID-19 vaccination, PWHD will require the patient to wait 14 days.

PWHD COVID-19 Call Center: 703-872-7759, open 9am-4:30pm (Monday-Sunday) to assist with COVID-19 related questions and questions about vaccine waitlist registration for eligible residents.  Waitlist Http://bit.ly/PWHDwaitlist

For PWHD Updates: VDH.virginia.gov/prince-william

CDC Vaccine Information: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

 

First Case of a U.K. COVID-19 Strain Found in Virginia

UK covid found in Virginia(January 25, 2021)

The variant strain of COVID-19 was found in a sample from a Northern Virginia resident who reported he had not recently traveled.  This variant strain called B.1.1.7 was first identified in the United Kingdom in September.  It is said to be more contagious than SARS-CoV-2.

The Virginia Department of Health and the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services announced their findings today.

Viruses change all the time, and we expect to see new strains as disease spreads,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “We know this variant strain spreads more quickly between people than other strains currently circulating in our communities, but we still have more to learn about whether it causes more severe illness. As our state public health officials closely monitor the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant in our Commonwealth, it is important that all Virginians continue following mitigation measures.”

VDH continues to work with communities across Virginia to slow the spread of all strains of COVID-19 through widespread adherence to preventive measures, supporting testing and vaccination efforts, and conducting investigations of cases and outbreaks.

In the United States, nearly 200 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been detected in 23 states as of January 22, 2021. While scientists are working to better understand its impact on vaccine efficacy, early data suggests currently authorized vaccines are effective against the new variant.

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine protects against this variant strain of the virus.

For more information about COVID-19 variants, visit the VDH COVID-19 Testing website and the CDC New COVID-19 Variants website. For more information on DCLS and its use of next-generation sequencing, visit dgs.virginia.gov/dcls.

PWHD – Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Plan and Response Efforts

(January 22, 2021) Information Update –Prince William Health District

Multi-Jurisdictional Coordinated Communications Effort/Prince William Health District Joint Information Center

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Plan and Response Efforts

Second Doses

The Moderna vaccine recommends administering a second dose between 28-32 days after the date individuals receive the first dose. The Districts are aware that there is currently no available appointments to schedule second doses in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) in Prince William Health District (PWHD) clinics. The Jurisdictions are currently working on a process to ensure any person who received their first dose at a Prince William Health District clinic between Dec 28 and Jan 21 who is unable to schedule their second dose in VAMS is accommodated.

These appointments are booked offline and individuals cannot register for a second dose online because of the forthcoming transition to a new vaccine administration and management system. A dedicated scheduling team is available starting the week of Monday, Jan 25, 2021, to contact these individuals and assist them with manually booking an appointment.

The Jurisdictions has received confirmation from the Virginia Department of Health that vaccine supply for second doses accounted for and shipped to health districts, in addition to their weekly first dose allocations. As such, please be assured that everyone who has received their first dose from a Prince William Health District clinic has a second dose allocated and is prioritized for scheduling based on the second dose eligibility window.

Waitlist

Today, everyone who signed up on the Prince William Health District waitlist or vaccine registration forms has received an automated email confirming their spot on the vaccine waitlist. If an individual has not received an automated email confirming a spot on the waitlist for a vaccine appointment provided through Prince William Health District, they must sign up on the waitlist again at http://bit.Ly/PWHDwaitlist. Anyone who did not have a valid email address or called the PWHD phone number for assistance at 703-872-7759 will receive a phone call confirmation within 24 hours. The PWHD call center hours are Monday-Sunday from 9 a.m. -4:30 p.m.

 If an individual did not receive an email or phone call, it means they did not use a valid email address, did not provide the correct phone number, or due to a computer error, the information was not stored. These individuals must complete the form again at http://bit.Ly/PWHDwaitlist.

Multiple Registration or Waitlist Notifications

The Jurisdictions are aware that some people have received numerous replies to the forms completed. If an individual has received several responses with a confirmation number, they should use the confirmation number for reference with the lowest number. For example, if one number says 200 and the other says 205, use the 200 number.

For further information and updates visit the Prince William Virginia Department of Health VDH.virginia.gov/prince-william.

 

65+ and People with Underlying Health Conditions Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

(Jan. 14, 2021)

On Thursday, Virginia’s governor announced changes to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  Gov. Ralph Northam says people 65 years old and older are now in Phase 1b.  The Prince William Health District (Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park) is vaccinating residents who are in Phase 1a and Phase 1b.

Also, the governor says those people with underlying health conditions can now be vaccinated after being moved up into the Phase 1b group.  Both of these groups had been in Phase 1c but now are in Phase 1b.   The reason for the change is the new CDC guidance.

In-depth look at Virginia’s Phase 1a and Phase 1b:

VDH Phase 1a – https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/#phase1a

VDH Phase 1b- https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/191/2021/01/Phase-1b-In-Depth.pdf

 

To watch the governor’s press conference from Thursday, Jan. 14 click here:

 

65+ and People with Underlying Health Conditions Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

(Jan. 14, 2021)

On Thursday, Virginia’s governor announced changes to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  Gov. Ralph Northam says people 65 years old and older are now in Phase 1b.  The Prince William Health District (Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park) is vaccinating residents who are in Phase 1a and Phase 1b.

Also, the governor says those people with underlying health conditions can now be vaccinated after being moved up into the Phase 1b group.  Both of these groups had been in Phase 1c but now are in Phase 1b.   The reason for the change is the new CDC guidance.

In-depth look at Virginia’s Phase 1a and Phase 1b:

VDH Phase 1a – https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/#phase1a

VDH Phase 1b- https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/191/2021/01/Phase-1b-In-Depth.pdf

 

To watch the governor’s press conference from Thursday, Jan. 14 click here:

 

Health District gets Larger Site for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Here’s the Waitlist Link:  Http://bit.ly/PWHDwaitlist

CONTACT: PWHDEPR@vdh.virginia.gov

PWHD COVID-19 Call Center Information Line: (703) 872-7759 Call Center Hours:  9am-4:30 Monday-Sunday 

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(Update-Jan. 14, 2021)

On Thursday, Virginia’s governor announced changes to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  Gov. Ralph Northam says people 65 years old and older are now in Phase 1b.  The Prince William Health District (Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park) is currently vaccinating residents who are in Phase 1a and Phase 1b.

Also, the governor says those people with underlying health conditions and can now be vaccinated.  Both of these groups had been in Phase 1c and are now in Phase 1b.   The reason for the change is the new CDC guidance.

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(January 11, 2021)

 Larger Numbers of Residents will be Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations after George Mason University Provides Bigger Space to Local Health District

As you may know on Wednesday (January 6) Virginia’s governor released the priority groups for Phase 1b and Phase 1c.

Even though the health district is transitioning into Phase 1b, it will continue vaccinating those in the first phase (Phase 1a).  In addition, starting on January 25 the health district will begin giving the required second dose to those vaccine recipients who are due for their second dose of Moderna vaccine.

Once the PWHD has a list of individuals 65 years old and older, it will upload it into our electronic scheduling system that will instruct them how to schedule an appointment.

At this time, an email is required to schedule an appointment. The health district is actively working with local emergency management partners to ensure that those who do not have access to email can schedule appointments too. It is important to schedule an appointment, otherwise, only if there are doses available at the end of the clinic will people who walk in without an appointment will be vaccinated.

Priority groups listed in Phase 1b and Phase 1c that are part of an employer (school staff, grocery store workers, postal workers, etc.) will not be able to sign up for an appointment until the health district or local jurisdiction has coordinated with their employer.  The employer will be contacted to provide a list of employees’ names and email addresses.  When they are in the correct priority group, this list will be uploaded into an electronic scheduling system and the employee will be provided information on how to schedule an appointment.

The health district must complete the employment groups in the order that they are listed in Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. For example, the health district cannot vaccinate corrections and homeless shelter staff before it vaccinates law enforcement since law enforcement is prioritized to be vaccinated first in 1b.

Currently, there are two COVID-19 vaccines available, Moderna and Pfizer, both require two doses to be fully effective.  At this time, the health district is only offering the Moderna vaccine.  It is important to note that both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine must come from the same manufacturer.  For example, if someone received the Pfizer vaccine for the first dose, they absolutely need to have the Pfizer vaccine for the second dose.

Keep in mind that while the health district is moving into Phase 1b, the vaccination effort is heavily reliant on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) receiving enough vaccine from the federal government.  Still of the utmost importance is prioritizing the groups and that is based on the Virginia Unified Command recommendations supported by the governor.

The Prince William Health District (PWHD) is deeply grateful to George Mason University (GMU) for putting the community first and providing its facilities to be used as a place for residents of the Greater Prince William Area to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.  On Tuesday, January 19, the PWHD will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations at GMU.

This much larger space will give the health district the ability to vaccinate greater numbers of people.  In addition, it will allow for safety measures such as the required social distancing of six-feet and it offers adequate space for the 15-minutes or more of observation time that is needed for people who just have been vaccinated.

This massive undertaking to vaccinate the greater public is requiring an all-hands-on-deck community effort.  That is why it is wonderful to know that in this time of crisis, GMU has stepped up to help the community.

The move to this larger space is especially critical, as the PWHD transitions into Phase 1b of the Virginia vaccination program.  The need for a larger site became more urgent after learning of the massive number of people who are in this second phase (Phase 1b) of the program.

Also, the health district is truly grateful to Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park for their continuous partnership during this COVID-19 crisis.  The Office of Emergency Management in each locality continues to work with the health district in finding and securing larger spaces for our community partners in order to expand vaccination sites throughout our community.  Larger spaces for health district partners will mean more opportunities for the community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

 

PWHD Begins COVID-19 Phase 1b Vaccinations

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 8, 2021

Marian Hunter, public relations coordinator, Marian.Hunter@vdh.virginia.gov

 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.

The number of people in priority group 1a — healthcare personnel and people living in long-term care — differs across geographic regions. While many localities remain focused on 1a vaccinations, 11 health districts will begin gradually adding vaccination opportunities for the following groups: frontline essential workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Overlap of vaccination of groups is needed to ensure people are vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.

All areas of the Commonwealth are expected to move to Phase 1b before the end of January.

The following health districts will begin Phase 1b vaccinations the week of January 11th:

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Cumberland Plateau
  • Fairfax
  • Lenowisco
  • Lord Fairfax
  • Loudoun
  • Mount Rogers
  • New River
  • Prince William
  • Roanoke County/Allegheny

Moving forward, local health districts will announce as they move into Phase 1b. This information will also be available on the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.

“This is an important step that will provide increased flexibility to health districts across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH newly appointed COVID Vaccine Coordinator. “The Governor has made it very clear that the state should not be holding anyone back — if health districts are ready and able to begin Phase 1b vaccinations, they must be able to do so.”

“We are excited to begin vaccinating more people as we continue to work to put this pandemic behind us,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “The number of calls to our VDH hotline and to our local health departments asking about vaccines is evidence that people want this protection. Our goal is to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. Vaccines are our best hope to get back to normal.”

It will take several weeks to months to vaccinate Virginians who fall into Phase 1b. The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available. Vaccine supply in the United States is still very limited. Currently, the federal government is allocating about 110,000 doses of vaccine to Virginia a week. The amount of vaccine available in the United States will depend on the capabilities of the manufacturers to produce the vaccine safely and is expected to increase later gradually over the next months.

To determine your local health department and to check your health district’s website for additional information, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/local-health-districts/.

Click here for more information about Virginia’s Phase 1b Guidance. For more information about Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

What to Know COVID-19 Vaccines:

What do know COVID-19 vaccine(January 4, 2021)

COVID-19 vaccines are giving Americans hope after a long, dark, and deadly year. The Prince William Health District put together some important vaccine information for you.

When the COVID-19 vaccine first rolled out, the supply was limited.  

That prompted the decision to target the most vulnerable with the limited supply—healthcare personnel, who are working on the frontlines in the COVID battle and nursing home residents and staff.

The elderly are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  According to the New York Times, as of Dec. 4, 2020, 49-percent of Virginia COVID deaths were in long-term care facilities.

COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase.
Possibly in the summer or spring, anyone who wants a vaccination may have their chance.

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a major priority.

The U.S. vaccine approval system works to ensure vaccines are as safe as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new tool, V-safea smartphone-based app to track vaccine side effects.

It is normal to have side effects from the vaccine.

It is a sign your body is building protection against the virus.

Even after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will still need to wear a face mask.

Stopping this pandemic means using all of the safety tools that are available. That means wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands frequently.

COVID-19 vaccines help protect against the virus, but two shots are needed.

You need both to get the maximum protection against the virus.

Click here for more on COVID-19 vaccines