Clinic facilities

As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Health District Plans Immunization Clinic in Ringgold | Local News

Amid a further rise in COVID-19 cases, the local health department is planning a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday in Ringgold.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Rock Springs United Methodist Church located at 2445 Rocksprings Road. This clinic will only accept walk-in visits, a press release said.

A range of doses – first, second and booster – will be available for anyone aged 5 and over. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Residents are asked to bring their vaccination record if they come for a follow-up dose.

Vaccinations have slowed to ramp up in the Commonwealth with only about 1,500 injections given per day, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health. During the January surge, around 30,000 daily COVID-19 vaccines were administered.

The decline began in February when virus cases began to decline significantly.

The Pittsylvania-Danville health district is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, the University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute reported Friday.

University of Virginia, contributed

In Danville and Pittsylvania County, only about half of residents are considered fully vaccinated and only 1 in 4 received a booster dose. Boosters are now available to anyone 5 years and older and are considered by health experts to be a necessary layer of protection in light of swirling variants.

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A second booster dose is available for anyone 50 and older or 12 and older who is “moderately or severely immunocompromised,” the Centers for Disease Control says.

A recent study indicates that there is a 70% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death due to infection with an omicron variant, according to the Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia.

Simply put, while it is possible for a vaccinated person to contract COVID-19, those who have received protective shots are much less likely to suffer severe symptoms that would require a hospital stay.

The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District remains expanding, according to a brief report released Friday by UVa. Together, Danville and Pittsylvania County are averaging about 32 new COVID-19 cases per day, but that number is likely an undercount of the actual number of illnesses in the community. The results of the now popular home test kits are not recorded in the official state database, so it is unclear how many people currently have the virus.

Statewide, rates fell slightly week-over-week, but UVa experts warned that the Memorial Day holiday may have impacted those numbers.

The subvariant known as BA.2.12.1 accounts for about 70% of new cases in Virginia, according to CDC data. It is an offspring of the omicron variant that caused record cases and hospitalizations in winter.

Each time there is a new variant, the transmissibility increases. This is one of the reasons for the increase in the number of current cases.

UVa’s latest models predict a steady increase in cases until a peak in July. Currently, the projection appears to remain below January wave levels.

Danville fell to the low community level for COVID-19 last week after reaching the medium stage in May, according to the CDC. The federal agency is now using new cases combined with current hospitalizations to weigh the burden on the health care community. At low level, face masks are not recommended.

Pittsylvania County, however, remains at the average stage, which means masks are recommended “if you are at high risk of serious illness,” the CDC says.

The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District added two new deaths from COVID-19 last week, bringing the toll to 483 lives lost to the coronavirus since March 2020. Even though those deaths were reported last week, the deaths are probably occurred weeks earlier. The state health department is awaiting the official death certificate to verify that COVID-19 was the case.