Governor announces easing of restrictions as COVID-19 percent positive rate dips to 8% in VA

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Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 8:52 AM EST
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Governor Ralph Northam gave a COVID update Wednesday.

Northam said it’s encouraging that case increases and percentages are dropping. He said since the state’s vaccine registration website and phone number were put in place this month, almost half a million Virginians have signed up.

The governor said with trends continuing as they are, some changes are being made to COVID-related restrictions. Beginning March 1, alcohol sales will be allowed until midnight instead of the current 10 p.m., and the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew will be dropped.

He also said outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people instead of ten, and that entertainment venues will have a limit of 30% capacity instead of 250 people each.

He said more pharmacies are making themselves available to offer vaccines, and their partnership with the state registration system is expanding rapidly. He reminded Virginians that appointments must be made, and people are not allowed to just walk in to a pharmacy and get a vaccine.

Governor Northam Feb 24 COVID Update

LIVE: Governor Ralph Northam is providing COVID-19 and vaccine updates from Richmond.

Posted by WDBJ7 on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 568,946 total cases of COVID-19 across the commonwealth as of Wednesday, February 24, 2021, dating to the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s up 1,907 from the 567,039 reported Tuesday, a larger increase than the 1,769 new cases reported from Monday to Tuesday.

[VDH launches central pre-registration website, phone number for COVID-19 vaccine]

[VACCINE INFO: What you need to know in southwest Virginia]

Click here for vaccination phases and who is eligible under each phase.

Per the latest update from the state’s vaccine dashboard, 1,667,353 doses of vaccine have been administered in Virginia as of Wednesday, up from Tuesday’s 1,632,700.

5,799,799 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests have been conducted in Virginia as of Wednesday, with an 8% positivity rate from those tests over the last week, down from the 8.3% reported Sunday through Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, there are 7,807 recorded coronavirus-related deaths in the commonwealth since the pandemic’s beginning, up from Tuesday’s 7,658.

1,564 people across Virginia were hospitalized as of Wednesday with confirmed or test-pending cases of COVID-19, down from Tuesday’s count of 1,621.

46,208 COVID patients have been released from hospitals in Virginia since the beginning of the pandemic. That’s according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, which gets a daily report from hospitals around the commonwealth.

Click here for the latest statewide rules regarding curfew, masks and public gatherings.

These hospital numbers are different from those reported by VDH, which only gathers hospitalization status at the time each case is investigated by VDH and is an under-representation of Virginia hospitalizations.

Any new confirmed cases from health departments throughout the state the rest of the day won’t show up until at least the following day on the state list, as the official numbers are only updated once a day, with a 5 p.m. cutoff each day for new cases to be reflected on the next day’s list.

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