The Virginia Department of Health has opened up a phone line that most Roanoke Valley residents eligible for Phase 1a or 1b COVID-19 vaccinations can call to schedule a vaccine appointment. It means anyone over 65 — or anyone 18-64 with an underlying medical condition — no longer needs to wait to be contacted to schedule a vaccination. The  health districts involved in the announcement cover Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Vinton, Botetourt County, Craig County, Alleghany County, Clifton Forge and Covington.

NEWS RELEASE: Starting today (March 31), ALL Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts Phase 1a and 1b eligible ages 18+ can skip the wait for an email or phone call to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. If you are over 65 or between the ages of 18-64 with at least one qualifying underlying medical condition, you can call a dedicated line (540-613-6597) starting today between 9am-4pm to schedule an appointment directly. Eligible residents can schedule appointments for openings THIS WEEK.