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:
Sept. 15, 2023 Update
Virginia Department of Health Announces Availability of New 2023–2024 COVID-19 Vaccine
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the vaccine recommendations of its independent panel of advisors, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Everyone aged 6 months and older is eligible to receive a 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and Moderna. In the coming days, the vaccine will start to be available at pharmacies and physicians’ offices in addition to federally qualified health centers, free clinics, and local health department offices. Virginians should speak with their healthcare providers about receiving the vaccine.
Persons aged 65 years and older and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness, hospitalization and death associated with COVID-19. Therefore, it is especially important for older adults to consider this vaccine and discuss it with their healthcare provider. The 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines are designed to target the Omicron variant XBB.1.5. Studies have shown that these vaccines can also protect against severe outcomes from other Omicron variants, such as BA.2.86 and EG.5.
Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines will now be available on the commercial market. According to CDC, most Americans will still get a COVID-19 vaccine with no out-of-pocket cost. People with insurance will likely pay nothing out of pocket for the vaccine. Those who are uninsured or underinsured can access free COVID-19 vaccines through two federal programs, the Bridge Access Program for adults and the Vaccines for Children program. These vaccines will be available to eligible persons at local health departments and participating pharmacies and healthcare providers. To find vaccine locations participating in the Bridge Access Program, visit Vaccines.gov; find a Vaccine for Children program provider.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) remains dedicated to preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, particularly for people at higher risk, and will continue working to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the state. Vaccination is one of many strategies to prevent COVID-19. Other important steps in combatting the virus are frequent handwashing, good respiratory hygiene that includes coughing and sneezing into your elbow, getting tested if you’re feeling sick, staying home if you are sick, and consulting with your healthcare provider to see if you are eligible for treatment. The VDH COVID-19 dashboards allow Virginians to stay abreast of the current state of COVID-19 trends in their community; the dashboards are available on the VDH website.
If you are interested in obtaining more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, check the Vaccinate Virginia website or contact the VDH Call Center. Call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages.
Aug. 1, 2023 Update
Virginia Department of Health Updating COVID-19 Dashboards to Streamline Data Presentation, Conform to CDC Reporting Standards
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continues to streamline information on its COVID-19 data dashboards to better reflect current COVID-19 trends in the Commonwealth and to align with updated reporting standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These changes will take place Tuesday, August 1, 2023; the dashboards will continue to update weekly on Tuesdays. Access to currently available data will be maintained in the Virginia Open Data Portal.
The COVID-19 Summary dashboard aims to serve as a hub of priority metrics that provide an overview of COVID-19 trends and activity in Virginia. The dashboard has been updated as follows:
Emergency Department Visits: Updated
- VDH will use the standard of “diagnosed COVID-19” to align with the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.
Cases by Date of Illness (on the summary page): Removed
- COVID-19 cases are significantly underreported due to at-home tests. VDH will still maintain the individual case dashboard and continue to prioritize the surveillance of severe illnesses.
Hospital Admissions: Updated
- A Hospital Admission Level Indicator that aligns with CDC levels will be added. Hospital Admissions will be updated to use the rate per 100,000 population of new admissions, changing from the number of new admissions.
Hospital Beds in Use: Updated
- Hospital Beds in Use will change from Number of Beds in Use for COVID-19 to Percent of Total Inpatient Beds Occupied by COVID-19 Patients.
- An Inpatient Bed Occupied Level Indicator, which will be aligned with CDC levels, will be added.
- This section of the summary dashboard will now display the cumulative total doses administered.
- The percent of people vaccinated with a primary series will be displayed.
- The percent of the population with up-to-date vaccinations will replace the number of booster/additional doses administered.
- Definition of “primary series” and “up to date” are explained on the revised dashboard.
- Primary series includes persons who received one dose of a single-dose vaccine or two doses with proper intervals of either a mRNA or a protein-based series.
- Up to date includes persons who have received all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine per the current CDC definition.
- The map will be updated to display the percent of the population who are up-to-date to reflect the current CDC definition.
- Sample sizes for Virginia isolates are low and not representative. The CDC genomic surveillance report for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 3 is available and includes Virginia data.
Several standalone COVID-19 dashboards will be updated as follows:
Vaccine Summary: Updated
- This dashboard will now display the percent of people vaccinated with a primary series, replacing the measures for count of and percent of people fully vaccinated, which conforms to the CDC standards.
- The percent of the population with up-to-date vaccination will replace the number of booster/additional doses administered.
- Definition of “primary series” and “up to date” are explained on the revised dashboard (see above).
- The map will be updated to display the percent of up-to-date to reflect the current CDC definition.
- The COVID-19 vaccination administration by day will be removed.
Vaccination Demographics: Updated
- The dashboard will display demographic data populations who have completed their primary series or are up to date on vaccination, a change from the previously display of at least one dose, fully vaccinated, monovalent booster, and bivalent booster.
- The categories and headers have been simplified for improved clarity and user experience.
- Age group metrics have been updated, including removal of Ages: 12+ and addition of 6 months+.
Emergency Department Visits: Updated
- A simplified dashboard with prioritized metrics will be displayed.
- VDH will communicate mitigation strategies to the public if any concerning COVID-19 outbreak trends were observed.
Weekly Health District Case Data: Removed
- This is being retired to streamline the COVID-19 dashboards.
VDH remains dedicated to preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, particularly for people at higher risk, and will continue working to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the state. These dashboard changes are intended to streamline the information that is most helpful in tracking COVID-19 and its impact on Virginia at this point in the pandemic. View VDH COVID-19 dashboards.
May 18, 2023 Update - 12:45 p.m.
Virginia Department of Health adds COVID-19 Wastewater Dashboard
Dashboard shows wastewater surveillance data of SARS-CoV-2 virus
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) added a wastewater surveillance dashboard to the COVID-19 dashboards. The dashboard shows how much SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is in wastewater sewage in participating communities across the state. The amount of virus present is called the viral load. The dashboard provides information about viral trends and a comparison of wastewater surveillance trends with reported patient case counts. The dashboard will be updated weekly, generally on Tuesday.
In partnership with local utilities, VDH has been conducting wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 since September 2021 and has shared data with public health officials to inform their decisions about local prevention strategies. COVID-19 surveillance has evolved over time and this adds to the visibility in the community.
“Used with other data, wastewater data can provide an indicator of community transmission that does not depend on COVID-19 lab testing or health care provider reporting.” said State Health Commissioner, Dr. Karen Shelton. “Wastewater surveillance has proven to be a helpful tool in monitoring trends of viruses; we are excited to also explore the potential of utilizing this technology for the fentanyl response, as directed in Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order 26 issued last week.” The SARS-CoV-2 virus is shed in feces by infected people, whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 or not. The virus can be detected in sewage days before a person begins to feel sick.
Currently, 36 wastewater treatment plants are participating in the surveillance initiative. The plants, located across the Commonwealth, volunteer to collect samples weekly. The Department of General Services, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS), conducts the laboratory analyses for COVID-19. The public health initiative is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through an Epidemiology and Lab Capacity Grant (ELC).
May 8, 2023 Update - 11:45 a.m.
COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications App to be Retired When the National Public Health Emergency Comes to an End
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that the COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications App will be retired when the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) disables the National Key Server as the National Public Health Emergency comes to a close on May 11.
More than 3 million users downloaded the COVIDWISE app and/or turned on COVIDWISE Express, an app-less version exclusively for iPhone users. COVIDWISE has alerted thousands of users if they have been in close contact with an individual who anonymously reported a positive COVID-19 test result. The app and COVIDWISE Express has used Bluetooth technology to quickly notify users likely exposed to COVID-19 with the goal of reducing the risk of infection and stopping disease transmission.
“COVIDWISE brought us cutting-edge technology as we responded to one of the biggest public health threats in modern times,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton, M.D. “With this technology, public health agencies put information directly into the hands of citizens, providing them with a tool and information to protect themselves and others around them.”
The free COVIDWISE app, which launched in early August 2020, was the first exposure notifications app in the United States using the Google/Apple framework. No personal data has ever been collected, stored, tracked or transmitted to VDH as part of the app or Express version.
“We stated from day one that when COVIDWISE was no longer needed, VDH would take the app down,” says Jeff Stover, VDH Chief of Staff. “We are following through on that commitment to the public.”
COVIDWISE works across state boundaries, including Washington D.C. and more than 20 states that have similar exposure notification systems using the National Key Server. This has allowed users to receive exposure notifications from people in participating states or jurisdictions.
The app has been updated several times and has included options to help users find and schedule vaccine appointments and access other valuable vaccination-related information, including the user’s COVID-19 vaccine record.
When the app is disabled on May 11, users may simply delete it from their phones. COVIDWISE Express users can turn off exposure notifications in Settings. Regardless, the Bluetooth technology that enables COVIDWISE to operate will no longer work for the app or COVIDWISE Express. The retirement of COVIDWISE does not impact COVID-19 surveillance activities, which will continue as part of VDH’s ongoing COVID response.
April 21, 2023 Update - 11:45 a.m.
Virginia Department of Health Implements New Guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19 Vaccines
The Virginia Health Department (VDH) is immediately implementing new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding vaccination for COVID-19. On April 19, the CDC announced its simplified COVID-19 vaccine guidance that now allows individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness to receive an optional additional dose of the bivalent mRNA vaccine.
All mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) administered in Virginia will be the bivalent mRNA vaccines and will be given on a simplified administration schedule. Under this simplified schedule, people who have not yet received a bivalent mRNA vaccine dose – including young children who have completed their primary vaccination series, older children, adolescents, and adults under the age of 65 – are eligible to receive a single bivalent mRNA dose. Certain populations – young children who haven’t completed their primary series, adults aged 65 years and older, and persons with compromised immunity – may receive two or more bivalent mRNA doses. Novavax and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen currently do not have authorized bivalent vaccines and will remain available in their current formulations on their current schedules.
If you are interested in obtaining a free bivalent mRNA vaccine, check the Vaccinate Virginia website or contact the VDH Call Center by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages. There may be a delay in providers having bivalent mRNA vaccine available but check back within a few days.
COVID-19 News and Updates Archive
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there are important updates and announcements shared with the Chesterfield community.
December 2022 Updates
To view December 2022 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - December 2022.
October 2022 Updates
To view October 2022 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - October 2022.
September 2022 Updates
To view September 2022 updates, visit COVID-19 Updates Archive - September 2022.