RICHMOND, Va.—  In his  first briefing in over a month, after he announced his  employee vaccines and school mask policy  back in August, Governor Northam continued to ask Virginians to get vaccinated and said Virginia will be ready when vaccines are approved for those under the age of 12 in late October or early November.

Northam reminded everyone that the vast majority of COVID victims are unvaccinated.  He continued that the only way you can get back to the way you want to live, including high school football games and other activities, will be to get vaccinated.

Northam said Virginia’s COVID metric trends, which have fallen slightly recently, are encouraging but still “way too high.” More than 2,000 Virginians remain hospitalized and Northam emphasized how hospitals are dealing with bed capacity issues, especially for ICU beds.

He also said there’s encouraging news on the overall vaccination front, pointing to the fact that 80% of Virginian adults have at least one dose and 60% of the total Virginian population is fully vaccinated.

Northam also noted that he still can’t taste or smell a year after getting COVID-19.

Virginia’s COVID metrics are still high, “way too high,” Northam says, with hospitalization figures  around the 2020-21 winter surge, but virus levels have dropped slightly in the past two weeks. Test positivity is down to 9.5%.

Deaths are also at their highest levels since March. A high percentage of COVID hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people, but there have been breakthrough cases and even some breakthrough deaths.

Northam stated that hospital staffs are stressed out and exhausted.  He said they are human beings and can only take so much.  He also said that staff shortages not only affect COVID patients but all other patients that need medical care.  Whether it’s chest pains or a diabetes spike, or shortness of breath, people who need medical care may not find it available.

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