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Gov. Northam says COVID-19 case numbers should be reason for concern, but to not panic

Northam stresses importance of COVID-19 vaccine
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam making masks a requirement when inside public buildings beginning Friday
Posted at 3:34 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 15:34:45-05

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia reported its largest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday.

There are now 1,087,400 total cases, 787,538 of which are confirmed and 299,862 are probable. There are 12,541 total COVID-19 related deaths, with 12,986 being confirmed and 2,555 being probable. The case numbers are up by 12,112, and deaths are up by 37 since Tuesday.

Governor Northam released a statement on Virginia's current state Wednesday. He says that the case numbers are a reason for concern, but not a reason for panic.

Northam says Virginians shouldn't panic now that vaccines have been made available.

"One year ago, vaccines had just become available, so nearly no one had gotten a shot. Today, more than 14 million shots have been given in Virginia. Only nine states have given more shots, and those states are all larger than Virginia. That’s good news, and it’s thanks to a lot of hard work by Virginians," Northam said.

Northam mentions that data from across the world shows those that are vaccinated experience minor symptoms compared to those unvaccinated. He says as the virus becomes endemic, it's time to study not only the number of cases but the severity of symptoms and amount of people going to the hospital.

Northam says the hospital is avoidable if vaccinated based on data.

"This is really important, because people working in hospitals are exhausted—nurses, doctors, and everyone," Northam states. "They have worked tirelessly for months to care for people who have gotten sick. Please go to the hospital only if you believe you really need to. It’s not fair to put even more pressure on hospital workers to care for people whose sickness is avoidable."

Northam mentions the following steps can help make Virginia safe:

  • It’s a good idea to stay away from people who have not gotten their shots.
  • It’s a good idea to wear a mask when you’re around other people, especially if you don’t know whether they have been vaccinated.
  • If you have not gotten a booster shot, now is the time to do it. Shots are widely available at pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and local health departments all across Virginia.
  • If you have children age five and above, now is the time to get them vaccinated. This will make it easier and safer for them to go back to school.
  • If you have chosen not to get your shots, you need to wear a mask and practice social distancing—to protect yourself and other people.
  • If you believe you need a test, please know that PCR tests are widely available, and more rapid antigen test kits are becoming available every day. You can click here to find testing sites. The federal government is in the process of making more than 500 million free at-home tests available. It’s important to understand that supplies of rapid antigen tests are limited across the country, so everyone needs to use good judgment when seeking these.

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