COVID-19 News and Updates
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The Chesterfield Health District (CHD) is a division of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). The CHD is comprised of the counties of Chesterfield and Powhatan and the city of Colonial Heights. VDH distributes COVID-19 vaccines to local health districts, such as CHD, which then administer the vaccine to eligible individuals within the health district, according to phases set by VDH. For current vaccination data for Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Health District, as well as overall vaccination data for Greater Richmond region localities, visit the Chesterfield COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard. To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit VaccineFinder.org.
To view current information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine in:
Aug. 5, 2021 Update - 2:30 p.m.
Governor Northam Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for State Workers
Localities and private employers are encouraged to do the same
Governor Ralph Northam has announced that Virginia will require its state workers to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week. This policy will impact approximately 122,000 employees and will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2021.
Governor Northam’s action comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant is driving up cases across the Commonwealth and around the country, primarily among unvaccinated people. Nearly 73% of Virginia adults have had their first shot and 54% of all Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus, which is higher than most states.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced a vaccination requirement for federal workers and Governor Northam’s executive directive is consistent with this policy. View the full text of Executive Directive Eighteen (PDF).
Virginians who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to go to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) to find a nearby vaccination clinic. For answers to frequently asked questions or to learn more about vaccination for COVID-19 in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
Aug. 5, 2021 Update - 1 p.m.
Chesterfield Health District is Reminding Residents to Get Vaccinated as Delta Variant Spreads
While optional, COVID-19 vaccinations and wearing a face covering could significantly curb the spread of the Delta variant
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Chesterfield Health District (CHD) is reminding residents to get vaccinated and wear face coverings while in public indoor settings as COVID-19 case numbers rise as a result of the Delta variant – including in Chesterfield County. The Chesterfield Health District is a state entity of the Virginia Department of Health and includes Chesterfield and Powhatan counties and the City of Colonial Heights.
Dr. Alexander Samuel, Chesterfield Health District director, said case numbers throughout the health district have significantly increased over the past few weeks – with the district moving from a seven-day average of 1.4 cases per 100,000 people on July 1 to 20 cases per 100,000 people on Aug. 4. The rate of increase is similar to the surge during the late autumn and early winter of 2020, Dr. Samuel said. The seven-day average per 100,000 people peaked at 84.1 cases at the height of the pandemic in mid-January of this year.
“The pace at which new cases are appearing indicate that the virus is spreading rapidly,” Dr. Samuel said. “We now meet the CDC definition of having a high transmission level.”
Many of the new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are amongst people who have not been vaccinated.
“The vast majority of cases are among unvaccinated individuals,” Dr. Samuel said. “The rise in cases also can be attributed to the relaxation of mitigation practices with the expiration of the governor’s executive orders, increased travel and the rapid emergence of the Delta variant as a predominant variant strain.”
The Delta variant is different from the original version of COVID-19 and other variants that have arisen in a few ways, Dr. Samuel said. For starters, it is much more contagious and poses more of a risk to those who have not been vaccinated. It also spreads more than twice as easily as other variants – making it the predominant variant strain in the United States.
While the Delta variant is causing some vaccine breakthrough infections, meaning people who have been fully vaccinated have become infected, Dr. Samuel said most breakthrough infections are mild and the vaccines are working as they should by preventing severe hospitalizations and deaths.
“So far, virtually all hospitalizations and deaths in this most recent wave in the Chesterfield Health District, and across the United States, continue to be among the unvaccinated,” Dr. Samuel said.
The CDC and VDH recommends people – including the fully vaccinated – wear a mask in public indoor settings. Other mitigation efforts, such as hand washing and social distancing, should be practiced to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
However, Dr. Samuel said the best way to fend off the latest variant of COVID-19 is for residents to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination is the best way to protect you, your family and your community,” Dr. Samuel said. “Higher vaccination coverage will reduce the spread of the virus and prevent new variants from emerging.”
View the full news release.
July 21, 2021 Update - 2:15 p.m.
Virginia Departments of Health and Education Release Updated Guidance for PreK-12 Schools
PreK-12 schools will make locally-informed decisions on masking and prevention measures, as informed by CDC recommendations
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education today released new guidance for PreK-12 schools for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. The Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Virginia PreK-12 Schools (PDF) reinforces the importance of in-person learning and supports school divisions in making decisions on masking and other prevention measures, as informed by local data and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The State Health Commissioner’s Public Health Order (PDF) is in effect until Sunday, July 25, 2021, and will not be extended, giving school divisions the ability to implement local mask policies based on community level conditions and public health recommendations. As informed by recent CDC recommendations, Virginia guidance strongly recommends divisions adopt the following for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Elementary schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers and staff wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until vaccination is available for children under 12 years old and there has been sufficient time to allow for children younger than 12 years old to be fully vaccinated.
- At a minimum, middle and high schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers and staff who are not fully vaccinated wear masks indoors. While school divisions regularly confirm school-required immunization records of their students, they should consult with their counsel in determining if and how to confirm student and staff COVID-19 vaccinations.
- All schools may want to consider universal masking for specific reasons as outlined in certain circumstances by the CDC.
- All schools should be prepared to adjust local mask policies as local public health conditions evolve throughout the year.
The CDC federal order requiring masks be worn on public transportation remains in effect and applies to buses operated by Virginia public schools.
All schools in Virginia are required to make in-person instruction available to all students in the 2021-2022 school year, pursuant to Senate Bill 1303 which was passed during Virginia’s 2021 legislative session. According to the updated guidance, physical distancing of at least 3 feet should be maximized to the greatest extent possible but schools should not reduce in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.
Prevention strategies are most effective when layered together, and will continue to be necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The guidance recommends that divisions work with local health departments to implement mitigation strategies based on information about the levels of community transmission, local vaccine coverage, the occurrence of cases and outbreaks in schools and the use of screening testing data to detect cases in schools.
Vaccination remains the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinating teachers, staff and eligible students is a critical layer of prevention and protection for all.
In 2020, Governor Northam directed $492 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to public schools and PreK-12 state-level education initiatives. This year, Virginia received approximately $939 million in ESSER II funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021. Ninety percent of the funding was distributed to school divisions in January, with the other 10 percent set aside for targeted state-level initiatives to address the impact of the pandemic on students and schools. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds directly allocate $1.9 billion to school divisions (PDF), with an additional state set aside of $211 million.
This spring, Governor Northam announced $62.7 million in Virginia LEARNS Education Recovery grants to help school divisions expand and implement targeted initiatives to support Virginia students as they continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
July 9, 2021 Update - 3 p.m.
Virginia Department of Health Announces New Dashboard to Show COVID-19 Cases by Vaccination Status and to Track COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases
Vaccine breakthroughs remain rare and COVID-19 vaccination is highly effective in preventing illness
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) COVID-19 in Virginia dashboards now include information on the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. They also include data to track COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccine breakthrough means someone who is fully vaccinated develops COVID-19.
Vaccination is the most important strategy to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Every time an immune person is exposed, the chain of transmission is broken, slowing the spread from person to person. Getting vaccinated is a much safer way to develop immunity than getting sick from COVID-19.
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death. To receive the most protection, people should receive all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine breakthroughs are rare and COVID-19 vaccination is highly effective in preventing illness, even acute illness.
For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit VDH's COVID-19 webpage and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 webpage. COVID-19 vaccines are free and accessible to all Virginians. Virginians seeking a vaccination opportunity can check in with their provider, pharmacy or find and schedule appointments at vaccinate.virginia.gov, vaccinefinder.org or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).
July 1, 2021 Update - 3:30 p.m.
VDH Reminds Virginians of Important Role of Masks to Protect Against COVID-19
Masks are an effective and legal way to help protect yourself and others
Public health officials encourage Virginians to continue to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and allowed by state law. There is no legal barrier to wearing masks to protect oneself and others from the virus, nor should anyone be penalized for doing so. While the law prohibits wearing a mask for the purpose of concealing one’s identity, it does not prohibit wearing a mask for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is true even now that Virginia is no longer under a statewide declaration of emergency.
COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. The CDC recommends wearing a mask in indoor public places for anyone aged 2 or older who is not fully vaccinated, and for anyone with a weakened immune system regardless of vaccination status. Although it is not generally necessary to wear masks outside, people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in crowded settings, particularly in areas with high numbers of cases.
Masks must be worn by persons aged 5 or older while indoors at a public or private K-12 school, pursuant to an Order of Public Health Emergency (PDF) issued by the State Health Commissioner and in effect from July 1 through July 25, 2021. Federal law requires masks on planes, buses (including school buses), trains and other forms of public transportation. Even when not required, people who are fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks whenever they would be more comfortable doing so.
Businesses are generally free to adopt their own mask requirements. Employees of some workplaces may still be required by state regulations to wear masks, even if fully vaccinated. For more information, employers should refer to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Standard (PDF) and Frequently Asked Questions.
Masks may be especially important now that recent cases of the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) have been identified in Virginia. This variant can spread more easily and might cause more severe illness than others. Although current COVID-19 vaccines appear to be effective against the Delta variant, additional mitigation measures (such as wearing masks, keeping distance from others, washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces) help lower risk even more.
July 1, 2021 Update - Noon
Chesterfield Health District to Host Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Every Wednesday in July
Clinics will be held from 3-6 p.m., beginning July 7
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Chesterfield Health District (CHD) will host free COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday in July starting on July 7, from 3-6 p.m. These clinics will be held at St. Augustine Catholic Church, located at 4400 Beulah Road, North Chesterfield.
No pre-registration is required, and walk-ups are welcome.
This location will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, which is given in two doses. Attendees will be given an appointment card for the next clinic around 21 days to receive the second dose. If this vaccination clinic is not convenient, citizens are encouraged to visit VaccineFinder.org to find a vaccine closest to them.
Children 12 years of age and older may get the Pfizer vaccine. A parent or guardian is required to accompany the child for them to receive the vaccine.
View the full news release.
July 1, 2021 Update - 11:45 a.m.
Chesterfield COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency Officially Ends
Increased pathways to government participation and modes to serve will continue
Chesterfield County has officially ended its local Declaration of Emergency nearly 16 months after issuing the decree to address several health and economic stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency declaration ended July 1.
Chesterfield first issued the local emergency declaration in March 2020 to respond and acknowledge COVID-19’s impact to the overall economic and health wellness of the county’s residents and businesses.
As part of the declaration, the county has worked closely with local, regional, state and federal partners to ensure businesses and residents have had access to a variety of programs and resources, including:
- Obtaining and distributing personal protective equipment to essential and emergency workers.
- Procuring additional technology to ensure continuity of services while adhering to distancing guidelines.
- Providing support to the Chesterfield Health District in community testing initiatives.
- Full utilization of county resources to assist in vaccination efforts, including the development of a database system for residents to sign-up for a COVID-19 vaccine, providing vaccines to public safety and government employees and redeployment of county government employees to maintain and improve services to residents and businesses.
Despite the official end to the declaration, the county will continue to adhere to several state and federal measures to keep people safe. Each county office building also will have access to hand sanitizer and disposable masks.
While state and federal guidelines no longer require face coverings, it is permissible for those wishing to wear them while on county property.
Furthermore, Chesterfield plans to maintain several virtual engagement initiatives either introduced or enhanced during the pandemic to allow increased interaction with county officials and departments, which include:
- Hosting Facebook Live discussions and features on specific topics and programs.
- Live streaming the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission’s meeting over the county’s YouTube channel and on WCCT Chesterfield Community Television, with citizen opportunities to continue commenting online for public hearings and additional comments to be incorporated into meetings.
- Submitting online documents for development and permits through Planning and Zoning’s online Enterprise Land Management (ELM) portal.
- Launching the Public Portal for Concerns and Assistance, which allows residents and businesses to provide feedback, concerns, report fraud, waste or abuse to county departments.
Other additional measures developed during the pandemic to serve residents and businesses are all being reviewed to supplement traditional in-person services provided by the county.
The county also will maintain its COVID-19 webpage, where residents will have around-the-clock access to resources and information related to the pandemic that includes available vaccination clinics, an update on overall vaccinations in the county and updates to state and federal resources for housing and business assistance.
“Ending the emergency declaration marks yet another chapter in our progress to end the pandemic,” said Chesterfield Board of Supervisors Chair James “Jim” Holland. “What we’ve experienced, how we’ve adapted, and what we’ve learned along the way have shaped in countless ways how we move forward. Throughout the pandemic, Chesterfield’s resilience and fortitude have shined in all directions, and we are today a stronger community.”
View the full news release.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, each month there are important updates and announcements shared with the Chesterfield community. This archive contains links to all such updates, organized by month.
July 2021 Updates
To view July 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - July 2021.
June 2021 Updates
To view June 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - June 2021.
May 2021 Updates
To view May 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - May 2021.
April 2021 Updates
To view April 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - April 2021.
March 2021 Updates
To view March 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - March 2021.
February 2021 Updates
To view February 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - February 2021.
January 2021 Updates
To view January 2021 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - January 2021.
December 2020 Updates
To view December 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - December 2020.
November 2020 Updates
To view November 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - November 2020.
October 2020 Updates
To view October 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - October 2020.
September 2020 Updates
To view September 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - September 2020.
August 2020 Updates
To view August 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - August 2020.
July 2020 Updates
To view July 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - July 2020.
June 2020 Updates
To view June 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - June 2020.
May 2020 Updates
To view May 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - May 2020.
April 2020 Updates
To view April 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - April 2020.
March 2020 Updates
To view March 2020 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - March 2020.