New guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week recommended that double-masking — wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask — could dramatically reduce the spread of the virus to others and yourself.
The CDC also recommended those who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden announced his administration has secured additional vaccines during remarks on Thursday at the National Institutes of Health.
“Just this afternoon, we signed the final contracts for 100 million more Moderna and 100 million more Pfizer vaccines and we’re also able to move up the delivery dates with an additional 200 million vaccines to the end of July — faster than we expected,” the president said. “And in further good news, both companies agreed — and we’re now contractually obligated — to expedite delivery of 100 million doses, that were promised by the end of June, to deliver them by the end of May. That’s a month faster. That means lives will be saved.”
“That means we’re now on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July,” he added.
With so much happening so quickly, here is a roundup of coronavirus-related news affecting the Historic Triangle.
The Virginia Department of Health is making it easier for people to be notified of potential exposure to COVID-19 with the launch of COVIDWISE Express, a new app-less exposure notification technology for iPhone users.
COVIDWISE Express works solely on iPhones that have not installed the COVIDWISE app.
When “Exposure Logging” is enabled on a smartphone, the device will automatically communicate with a test verification server and the national key server, according to VDH’s announcement. At the same time, the user’s privacy and location data will be protected.
COVIDWISE Express is available in both English and Spanish.
Statewide pre-registration system
VDH has directed local health districts, including the Peninsula Health District, to close their vaccination pre-registration forms by Friday evening in preparation to shift to a statewide system next week.
The statewide vaccine pre-registration system will provide a unified and comprehensive process for people in Virginia to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pre-registration through the new statewide system will be available on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Anyone who has previously filled out a survey, form or signed up for a waitlist to be vaccinated through their local health district will be automatically imported into the new statewide system and maintain their current status in the queue, according to VDH’s announcement.
Pre-registration forms for local health districts close on Friday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.
For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia and the United States, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Here are some recent COVID-19 headlines you may have missed:
COVID-19 vaccine updates
- Confused about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?
- Don’t post your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media
- What’s the deal with the COVID-19 vaccination process? A few locals share their experience
- York County establishes COVID-19 vaccine helpline
- Free hotline established for questions regarding Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center vaccination clinic
- Williamsburg city manager extends staff telework directive for two more weeks
- Gov. Northam extends COVID-19 restrictions through the end of February
- Two private schools, two different approaches
- Gov. Northam announces support to reopen schools
- WJCC Schools, York County School Division on track for fall sports season
- W&M men’s basketball postpones games ‘due to COVID-19 protocols’
- York County schools staff receives vaccines
- Williamsburg extends deadline for Municipal Utility Relief Program throughout 2021
- Williamsburg Health Foundation announced $1 million in grants to help prevent renter evictions
- Utility relief is available
- Help is available for area businesses
- Five things to know about taxes in a pandemic
The latest numbers for the Peninsula Health District, which includes the Historic Triangle, are below, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard: