Wednesday, December 7, 2022

COVID-19 roundup: Here’s what you missed this week

During a press conference, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a lift on COVID-19 restrictions, amending Executive Order Seventy-Two. (WYDaily/Courtesy of VPM)

Governor Ralph Northam set the tone of the week, announcing Wednesday he was amending Executive Order Seventy-Two to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus, allowing certain outdoor sports and entertainment venues to begin operating at increased capacity starting Monday, March 1.

Northam highlighted that COVID-19 hospitalizations and infection rates continue to decline and vaccinations rise, noting Virginia’s daily case numbers were down to 1,708 as of Wednesday, the lowest it has been since Thanksgiving, and nearly 1.7 million vaccines had been distributed.

The easing of restrictions coincided with a number of reopening plan announcements around the region, from the Virginia Symphony Orchestra announcing dates for live performances to Water Country slated to open in May to Historic Jamestowne set to reopen March 1.

There were plenty of reminders, however, that COVID-19 is not behind us.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Wednesday that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 had been identified in Central Virginia. The variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, has been linked to increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.

The Virginia resident had no history of travel during the exposure period.

Preliminary reports show this variant causes more severe illness than other variants, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding.

Meanwhile, The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) announced several cancellations and adjustments to its men’s basketball schedule, including the cancellation of William & Mary’s games against Northeastern University this weekend due to COVID-19 protocols within the Northeastern program.

The games against Northeastern were the Tribe’s last scheduled regular-season games before the CAA tournament.

Here are some recent COVID-19 headlines you may have missed:

COVID-19 vaccine updates

Government restrictions/closures

Education

Relief programs

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:

Here are the latest positive coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the Historic Triangle as of Friday, Feb. 26, information courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health. (WYDaily/ Screenshot courtesy of VDH)

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