Governor Northam conducted a news conference on the new COVID totals Thursday.

Northam said that while 70% of Virginians have had at least one vaccination, the new Delta variant of COVID is “far more contagious” and “makes victims sicker than the original virus.”

Northam claimed that 99% of the new victims were not vaccinated, adding “there is no reason why we have to see more sickness and death in Virginia.  The vaccination is safe and free.”

He also claimed that in some cases younger victims are getting sicker and some will have breathing problems that could last a lifetime.

“The time for waiting is over.”

Governor Northam will be requiring all state employees be vaccinated by September 1. State employees who do not get vaccinated by that date will have to be tested weekly.

Northam said that the best way to get this behind us is for more people to become vaccinated.

Northam announced he is requiring students in K-12 schools to wear masks this fall.  He said that the state follows the CDC guidelines and that unless something changes, students will be wearing masks during school.