Health and Medicine

Governor Northam says Virginia is developing a statewide COVID-19 vaccination program that will include a website where you can register and schedule to receive your doses. Northam says the state’s goal is to administer 25,000 vaccine doses per day, about double the current number.

For now, the governor says some clinics have not administered all the vaccines distributed to them and he urges them to “put shots in arms” as soon as possible or face reduced future allocations. Northam promises public release of figures showing where all vaccine doses were sent and how many have been administered from each location. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

01-06 Northam Wrap-WEB

Northam says administering the program is “complex stuff”  with many components, and just as Virginia was able to greatly increase the number of daily tests last spring and summer, the vaccination program will increase to meet its goal as well.

The governor says the state  faces “a long winter ahead”, with at least one model from the University of Virginia suggesting the already record number of daily cases may continue to rise into mid-February.

Health systems in the Roanoke, Lynchburg and Southside regions report a 35% rise in COVID-19 patients on ventilators in the past week along with a 16% rise in patients under intensive care and overall, a 10% rise in hospitalized COVID patients. Carilion, LewisGale, the Salem VA facilities, Lynchburg-based Centra and Southside-based Sovah collectively report 420 COVID patients, compared to 381 one week ago. Those under intensive care rose by 12 to 87, and patients on ventilators increased from 43 to 58. The weekly report does not break down the numbers by specific Roanoke, Lynchburg or Southside area.

NEWS RELEASE: Here are updated numbers for the Near Southwest Region (which includes Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, Sovah, and Salem VA facilities) as of today:

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients: 420

  • ICU patients: 87
  • Ventilator patients: 58

Hospitalized PUIs (patients under investigation awaiting results): 33

FROM DECEMBER 30: Here are updated numbers for the Near Southwest Region (which includes Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, Sovah, and Salem VA facilities) as of today:

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients: 381

  • ICU patients: 75
  • Ventilator patients: 43

Hospitalized PUIs (patients under investigation awaiting results): 21

Dr. Cynthia Morrow/VDH-VT photo

While the Roanoke County School Board ponders an early return to scholastic sports and Botetourt County has already done so as of this week, Dr. Cynthia Morrow with the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts said today the focus should be on getting kids back into classrooms – not on to playing fields and into gyms. The Virginia High School League had set a scholastic sports re-launch target date in mid-February. Several school systems around the state have already announced they will not compete this spring.

1-5 Morrow#1

The Virginia Department of Health has published a schedule of free local COVID-19 test sites – with no registration required – through the end of March. First up is Dabney S Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge tomorrow from 2 to 5-pm. The Salem Civic Center is next up at the same time a week from tomorrow. See the complete listing on our website and Facebook.


The VDH reports 5182 new confirmed and probable COVID cases statewide today – only about 60 less than the all-time record yesterday. 125 new hospitalizations and 49 new deaths over the past 24 hours as well. Locally 45 new cases, 1 new hospitalization and 1 new death in Roanoke City, 20 new cases and 2 new hospitalizations in Roanoke County, 1 new death in Salem; 24 new cases and 1 new death in Botetourt County.