VIRGINIA (WDVM) — During a press briefing on Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that the state is moving in the right direction in terms of vaccination — but more still needs to be done.
Northam said that 60% percent of adults are currently fully vaccinated.
“In the past few days, case numbers have started to move down and hospitalization numbers are leveling off. That is a hopeful sign, but the numbers are still way too high,” said the governor.
Northam says despite the state’s progress, the delta variant has created an uptick, reporting 1,997 new cases on Monday.
Northam once again called on Virginians to get vaccinated, saying those who have chosen to not get the shot are “selfish,” racking up the cost of COVID-related hospitalizations.
“$5 billion in costs to treat a disease that could be prevented by a free vaccine,” said Northam. “If you still don’t want the shot, then I hope you give some thought to how your family will remember you. Give some thought to what they’ll do without you. Think about how you want your obituary to read, because you are taking a foolish, dangerous chance.”
The governor applauded northern Virginia counties, Arlington and Alexandria, for their high vaccination rates.
“98.5% of children age 12-15 in Alexandria have gotten at least one shot. Arlington is doing amazingly well too, at 92%,” said Northam.
Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán also spoke about the schools’ efforts to combat the virus, saying the goal is to keep schools open and more shots in arms.
“We also have a mandate in Arlington County for our employees and we have 91% of all our instructional staff who are vaccinated,” said Durán. “We have weekly testing that occurs for any families that want to opt in… 25% have opted in.”
Children under age 12 are not yet eligible to get shots, but Northam expects that to change in a few weeks. COVID-19 vaccine approval for kids may come as soon as the end of October or early November.
Northam said that when the time comes for children to be vaccinated, Virginia “will be ready.”