by Tyler Arnold
Virginia’s state-run COVID-19 vaccination centers will be closed on Monday in response to expected inclement weather caused by a snowstorm affecting parts of the state.
None of the state’s Community Vaccination Centers, run by the Virginia Department of Health, will offer any vaccinations for the day. Portions of central, south central and west central Virginia are in a winter storm emergency, according to the National Weather Service. Privately run vaccination centers are not affected by the announcement and will be subject to their own company’s decision on whether to close or remain open.
In a news release, the VDH urged residents who had scheduled appointments for Monday to reschedule as soon as possible. A person can schedule an appointment with one of the centers through vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-829-4682. Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages.
The VDH will open the location at the Military Circle Mall in Norfolk for COVID-19 testing between 2-6 p.m. on Monday but will not offer vaccinations.
According to the news release, the VDH made its decision to close the centers out of an abundance of caution for staff and patients. The VDH will make an announcement on Monday afternoon on whether the centers will reopen on Tuesday.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the commonwealth have been increasing in December. According to the most recent VDH numbers, there are currently 2,405 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.
Nearly 89% of Virginia adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 78% are fully vaccinated. Vaccination rates are highest among the older population and lowest with children and young adults. Death and serious illness among young people is rare, but the risks increase if a person has a compromised immune system or some other health complication and the risks increase as a person gets older.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.
Photo “Vaccination Center” by New York National Guard. CC BY-ND 2.0.