One day into Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine administration, Gov. Ralph Northam today spoke at a press conference to share what he said was "great news."
Northam was joined by Sen. Mark Warner and others.
As of Sunday, all Virginians aged 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Virginians are likely to recall a phone alert this morning at 10 a.m. sharing this information.
As of today, nearly 40 percent of Virginia residents are at some stage in the vaccination process, with 1 in 4 Virginians being fully vaccinated, Northam said at the press conference.
Northam said he anticipates about 3 million more Virginians are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination during Phase 2.
Although mask mandates have been lifted in a dozen states like Texas and Arkansas, Northam shared at the conference that he does not intend to end Virginia's mask mandate yet, which has now been in effect for nearly a year.
“We are on the right track, we just have to keep being careful and stay vigilant,” Northam said. "We will have further updates in the coming days."
Northam reminded the public that over 10,000 Virginians have died of COVID-19.
More contagious variants of the virus are now in Virginia, so, "This is no time for Virginia to let down our guard," Northam said.
Warner added, “If you haven’t gotten a shot, get a shot. This is not a question of politics. It’s not a question of who you like or don’t like as president. It’s about whether you care about yourself, your family, your neighbors, your community."
Although there were no significant changes to COVID-19-related restrictions, Northam did specify that events in the performing arts realm, like theater and music, will now match the existing capacity restrictions in place for sporting events at Virginia's high schools.