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Virginia Department of Health urges vaccinations, testing ahead of holiday gatherings

Posted at 10:17 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 22:50:14-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is urging Virginians to get vaccinated prior to those big holiday gatherings.

According to VDH, 6.8 million Virginians have had at least one dose of the vaccine. 1.8 million have had the booster shot.

Siblings Julianne and Dorian Brown got their boosters at Military Circle Mall on Tuesday. They said they also got tested before coming home.

“I think we just wanted to make sure we are checking all our boxes before coming home for the holidays and doing everything we can to make sure we are all protected and protecting the people that we are seeing, too,” Julianne Brown said.

VDH has several recommendations this holiday season to be safe, to include:

  • Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 now.
  • Getting your booster dose now.
  • Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
  • During the holiday season, consider taking a COVID-19 test prior to gathering with others, especially if you plan to visit with people who are vulnerable or at high risk for severe illness if they develop COVID-19.

“I just wanted to be proactive. I know it’s important because I’ll be around a lot of family, loved ones, friends. I wanted to protect not just myself, but my family,” Brenda Smith said. Smith received her booster shot Tuesday as well.

The Norfolk Military Circle Mall's Community Vaccine Center is closing for the holidays. The new holiday schedule and new hours starting after the new year are as follows:

  • The CVC will be closed for the holidays Dec. 23-27 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2.
  • Hours of operation for Dec. 28, 29 will be 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (regular hours)
  • Hours of operation for Dec. 30 will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Starting on Jan. 4, the CVC will begin operating with new hours, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

At this time, the testing at the Norfolk CVC will continue to be on Mondays from 2-6 p.m.

Click here for our full COVID vaccination guide.