More restrictions easing; Governor speaks as COVID hospitalizations drop in Virginia

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 8:59 AM EDT
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At a news conference Thursday, Governor Ralph Northam said, in response to trends involving COVID case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths dropping in Virginia, it’s clear that “vaccines work,” and continued to urge people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

He said starting next week, more mobile vaccination operations will spread across Virginia to help underserved communities.

Some more restrictions will be loosened in Virginia as of May 15, according to Northam. For social gatherings, 100 people at a time will be allowed indoors and 250 outdoors. For entertainment events, 50% capacity will be allowed for indoor events up to 1,000 people, and 50% will be allowed outdoors with no cap.

Restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol after midnight, and dining rooms will be allowed to stay open later.

Northam said if COVID numbers continue to trend down and vaccination numbers keep trending up, mitigation measures, capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements will be lifted June 15.

WDBJ7 Vaccine Tracker 5.6.21
WDBJ7 Vaccine Tracker 5.6.21(WDBJ7)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 664,394 total cases of COVID-19 across the commonwealth as of Thursday, May 6, 2021, dating to the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s up 856 from the 663,538 reported Wednesday, a larger increase than the 842 new cases reported from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Per the latest update from the state’s vaccine dashboard, 6,549,140 doses of vaccine have been administered in Virginia as of Thursday, up from 6,460,376 Wednesday. 45.9% of Virginians have received at least one dose, while 33.3% are fully vaccinated.

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

7,119,924 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests have been conducted in Virginia as of Thursday, with a 4.4% positivity rate from those tests over the last week, up from the 4.3% reported Wednesday.

As of Thursday, there are 10,861 recorded coronavirus-related deaths in the commonwealth since the pandemic’s beginning, up from 10,844 reported Wednesday.

847 people across Virginia were hospitalized as of Thursday with confirmed or test-pending cases of COVID-19, down from 896 reported Wednesday. 54937 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.

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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