NORFOLK, Va. - Virginia launched a new statewide call center on Wednesday to help pre-register people for vaccines and help answer questions. People can access it by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).
Gov. Northam said about 750 people would work at the call center with the goal of reaching people who are uncomfortable with pre-registering online and to aid people without internet access. It will be open seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. They can answer in English or Spanish and can call back in a different language if needed.
"The call center will allow you to talk to someone who can answer questions and they can help you get pre-registered," said Northam during a press conference on Wednesday.
The state also launched a new website to help people pre-register on Tuesday. The site, vaccinate.virginia.gov, is a "one-stop-shop" where people in Virginia can pre-register for a vaccine appointment, check to make sure they are pre-registered, and get additional information.
About 240,000 people have signed-up through the new site since it launched on Tuesday. The site is still in the process of moving over the names of people who had pre-registered through their local health departments. That process remains ongoing, Northam said. Anyone who already pre-registered doesn't have to sign-up again, but it still may take a few days for all names to appear on the new site.
In good news, Northam said the number of COVID cases is going down and the number of people vaccinated is going up. More than 1.4 million doses have now been administered, ranking Virginia 12th in the country in vaccinating by population.
Northam said he's expanding the number of people who can attend outdoor sporting events to 250 in order to accommodate spectators in high school sporting events.
Any further easing of restrictions will come at a later date, he said. "The numbers are coming down," he said. "The number of vaccinations are going up, but we're still not out of the woods."