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Vaccinations reach 20% mark

With approximately 20% of Piedmont Health District residents at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus, local COVID-19 numbers are continuing to provide optimism.

The health district has seen many large vaccination events in the past several weeks, quickly adding to the number of inoculated citizens, and there’s more to come.

According to Piedmont Health District Interim Director Dr. Sulola Adekoya, the Piedmont Health District will have two large vaccination events this week in Amelia and Charlotte counties followed by two more events in Nottoway and Cumberland the following week.

On Monday, March 22, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website listed Prince Edward County as having at least one dose in the arms of 18% of the county’s population. Buckingham County as of Monday had partially vaccinated at least 22% of residents.

Cumberland County was listed on Monday as having 19.8% of residents vaccinated. Charlotte County has partially vaccinated 21% of residents, and Lunenburg County has put at least one dose in the arms of 21% of the county’s population.

The state saw fluctuating COVID numbers this week, with Virginia reporting a seven-day moving average of 1,443 cases per day across the commonwealth, up slightly from last week’s 1,325 cases.

But by Monday the state’s numbers were back on the decline, with daily reported cases on Monday reaching 1,063, a slight drop from 1,130 cases one week prior.

Locally, Adekoya says cases are still declining with small bumps here and there.

From Monday, March 15, to Monday, March 22, Prince Edward County saw just 10 new reported coronavirus cases. Buckingham County saw four new cases, and Cumberland saw five.

Charlotte County was reporting 13 new cases as of March 22, and Lunenburg was reporting 18 cases.

Longwood University was reporting seven active cases among its campus community Monday. Hampden-Sydney College was reporting no active cases among students and staff Monday with 10 individuals in quarantine.

Adekoya added the health district is on track to finish vaccination of most registered 1B personnel by early April, with the opening of the 1C vaccination phase soon to follow.

She added 1B individuals will still be able to register and get a vaccine once 1C is opened, and the health district will continue to prioritize older adults after the opening of 1C.

She also emphasized communication is key during this process and that residents must pre-register through vaccinate.virginia.gov or by dialing 1-(877)-VAX-IN VA in order to receive the vaccine.

“Please register. Get your loved ones registered,” she said.

Adekoya said as more vaccine doses have become available, some residents have said they only wish to receive a certain type of the three vaccines currently in use.

She highlighted the health district feels confident that all vaccines currently being offered are safe and effective, and recommended residents consider taking whatever vaccine becomes available when it is their turn to receive a shot.