Coronavirus (COVID-19)

February 24, 2021- 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 24, 2021
Dena Potter, DGS, Email Dena Potter

Additional Pharmacy Networks Added to Federal Partnership to Provide No-Cost COVID-19 Vaccines

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that additional pharmacy networks are beginning to administer COVID-19 vaccines to those age 65 and older as part of a federal partnership that will bring an additional 52,000 vaccines into Virginia this week.

In addition to CVS Pharmacy Inc., which began receiving approximately 26,000 vaccine doses last week through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, the newly added pharmacies include Walgreens, Walmart Inc., The Kroger Co., Albertsons Companies Inc. (Safeway), Retail Business Services LLC (Food Lion, Giant Food), Topco Associates LLC (Food City), and CPESN LLC, a network of multiple independent community pharmacies. These pharmacy networks will share the additional 26,000 doses. Similar doses are expected in the following weeks.

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a public-private partnership in which the pharmacy companies receive vaccines directly from the federal government to vaccinate priority groups at no cost. Vaccinations are by appointment only.

VDH is working with eligible pharmacies to schedule appointments using Virginia’s centralized pre-registration system, as possible. Beginning this week, the Vaccinate Virginia call center is making calls to individuals on the pre-registration list to schedule appointments for Walmart and Giant vaccination events, while other pharmacies have agreed to use pre-registered individuals to schedule their own appointments.

The vaccines will be distributed to approximately 140 locations across Virginia. VDH will work with these pharmacies to determine which locations will receive vaccinations each week in an effort to focus on high-risk and vulnerable communities. While most will administer vaccinations in their stores, Walmart will hold off-site mass clinics in rotating areas of the state.

The 52,000 doses from the federal partnership are in addition to the approximately 160,000 Virginia received this week to be distributed through local health departments and other providers.

To pre-register, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (TTY users dial 7-1-1). To register for an appointment at a CVS pharmacy.  Register at a CVS Pharmacy.

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February 17, 2021- The Statewide Pre-Registration System for the COVID-19 vaccine is live!  

Virginia COVID Information Center

877-ASK-VDH3 • 8am-8pm
(877) 275-8343

Please visit Vaccinate Virginia to pre-register for a FREE COVID-19 vaccine.

All individuals who have previously filled out a survey or form or signed up for a waitlist to be vaccinated through their local health district will be automatically imported into the new statewide system. Individuals will maintain their current status in the queue, and will be able to search that they are in the new system.

February 16, 2021- Virginia Launches Central Pre-Registration Website for COVID-19 Vaccine 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 16, 2021
Dena Potter, DGS, Email Dena Potter

Virginia Launches Central Pre-Registration Website for COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccinate Virginia to go live on Tuesday February 16; Statewide hotline to launch Wednesday

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Health today launched a new, centralized website that allows Virginians to easily pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine. This ‘one-stop-shop’ website allows individuals to pre-register online, check that they are pre-registered, and access additional information on Virginia’s vaccination roll-out.

Virginians who have previously pre-registered through their local health district have been automatically imported into the new system and do not need to pre-register again. Data migration is continuing throughout the week and it may take several days for your name to appear in the centralized system. Everyone who has previously registered is still on the list, and their status will not be affected.

The Virginia Department of Health expects millions of unique visits to the site on Tuesday, and IT teams will be addressing back-end components as needed throughout the day. Anyone who cannot get through immediately should try again.

Recognizing that many Virginians are uncomfortable or unable to pre-register online, the Virginia Department of Health will also launch an accompanying hotline number on Wednesday, February 17. Governor Northam will provide additional information about this hotline, in addition to the new online tools, at a press conference on Wednesday, February 17.

Due to technological limits with CVS Pharmacy’s national appointment system, Virginians must continue to register for CVS appointments through the CVS Pharmacy website. 

Virginia has vaccinated over 12% of the population with at least one dose. Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine currently far outstrips supply, and it is expected to take several months to reach all who want to be vaccinated. Virginia is prioritizing people who qualify for Phase 1B: people age 65 and older; frontline essential workers; those living and working in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and migrant labor camps; and individuals with high-risk medical conditions.

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February 8, 2021- How to Get Notified to Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine 

The Virginia Department of Health’s West Piedmont Health District has released an online survey for individuals to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine. Completing this survey does NOT reserve a vaccine for you. The WPHD is administering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only at this time. The information collected will help WPHD coordinate your appointment.

If you are in group 1a or 1b you may use this link https://redcap.vdh.virginia.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=N83JNH4PN9 to preregister for the COVID vaccine.  You will be called or sent an email to schedule an appointment as vaccine supplies come in. 

For anyone having problems filling out the survey electronically, there are paper copies of the survey at the Health Departments in Martinsville, Stuart and Rocky Mount as well as public libraries in those localities.

Please be patient. The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available in our local health district and the capacity of community and employer-based clinics to be able to administer the vaccinations. 

Find out which phase you are eligible for by visiting The Virginia Department of Health’s website. A simple Google search will locate this website located at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. 

  • The website will walk each person through a series a questions to determine which phase they fall into. 
  • Also at the end, the user is able to submit their contact information to receive updates from the VDH.
  • Completing this form does NOT reserve a vaccine for them, it only enables them to receive updates from VDH.

Also on this website is a frequently asked questions button that answers many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination process.

In the meantime, it is important to remain vigilant in COVID-19 prevention. Continue to protect yourself and others: cover your mouth and nose with a mask, wash your hands often and well, stay at least six feet away from others, avoid gatherings with anyone who is not a member of your household and get a flu shot.

Links:

West Piedmont Health District: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/west-piedmont/ 

Virginia Department of Health – COVID-19 Vaccine: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/ 

COVID Vaccine

January 28, 2021-Vaccinate Virginia Partner Update

The following information is provided to help partners communicate accurate and timely information to constituents. This information is subject to change as Virginia continues to refine the vaccination effort. Visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine for more information.

Key Points: All states rely on the federal government to distribute vaccine doses. Based on our population, Virginia is currently receiving approximately 105,000 new doses per week toward our goal of achieving herd immunity. The pace of incoming doses may not significantly increase for months, although President Biden has announced plans to increase distribution by 16% in the near future.

The Virginia Vaccine Summary Dashboard has been updated to provide greater transparency and clarity, and now shows that the majority of first doses available to the Commonwealth have been administered. This results from identifying doses that can be redistributed and administered quickly; reducing the backlog of data entry from vaccine providers; and clarifying the status of doses sent to CVS and Walgreens as part of the federal program to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities. It is important to note that the number of doses shown as being “received” by hospitals and local health districts does not account for the doses they then redistributed to other partners such as physicians and pharmacies. About half of the doses that have been received but not administered are second doses that will be administered three or four weeks after the corresponding first doses.

Virginia’s primary distribution of doses is allocated by the Virginia Department of Health to local health districts, in proportion to each district’s population. Local health districts are expected to determine the most equitable and efficient use of each allocation, leveraging any combination of their own staff and volunteers, hospitals, pharmacies, and individual providers. Additional doses reach some residents of Virginia through separate federal allocations for employees of the U.S. Department of Defense and certain other agencies; the Indian Health Service; and a federal contract with CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities.

All local health districts in Virginia have moved into Phase 1b of vaccine eligibility. This means that approximately 50% of Virginia’s population is now eligible, including frontline essential workers, people aged 65 years and older, people with high-risk medical conditions identified by the CDC, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps. Other than the healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities in Phase 1a, the Virginians in Phase 1b are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 or serious illness if infected.

While local health districts are allowed flexibility in how doses are administered to eligible individuals, roughly half of the available supply should be used for people aged 65 or older. The other half should be used for frontline essential workers, people with high-risk medical conditions as identified by the CDC; and people in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps. Frontline essential workers should be prioritized in the order listed in the Phase 1b details.

There are simply not enough doses available yet for everyone who is eligible to receive them. Virginia is not likely to meet the demand for Phase 1b until March or April. 

Anyone eligible for Phase 1a or 1b based on occupation should check with their employer to see if arrangements have already been made, and should otherwise register with the local health department in the locality where they work. Anyone eligible based on age or medical condition should register with the local health department in the locality where they live. Virginia has confirmed that the District of Columbia and Maryland are following the same approach.

Assistance in English, Spanish, and other languages is also available through the VDH Call Center at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343). The Commonwealth is investing in a significant expansion of call center capacity in the coming weeks, and is working with local health districts to ensure information and registration is available on their websites and by phone. Unfortunately, it may be weeks or longer before vaccination appointments become available for those who have registered. Anyone who receives a first dose of vaccine will receive the second dose three or four weeks later as appropriate. Vaccine providers should not hold back their current supply for second doses; they will receive second doses in proportion to the first doses they administer. Governor Northam has extended Executive Order 72 through February 28, which maintains the 10-person limit on social gatherings, the requirement to wear masks in public places, guidelines for businesses, and other provisions.

How Localities Can Help: Support local health departments in ensuring that registration information for eligible individuals is easily available through local websites and call centers.  Emphasize to the public that because approximately 50% of Virginia residents are now eligible to be vaccinated, the limited supply of vaccine from the federal government means it will take months to complete Phase 1b unless supply improves. Closely coordinate with local health districts to plan smaller vaccination clinics now and larger ones once supply improves. Pooling venues, staff, volunteers, and other resources now will avoid delays later. Remind everyone in the community that it is more important than ever to take the same precautions as always: staying home when possible, wearing masks when out, maintaining physical distance from others, washing hands frequently, and other best practices.

January 25, 2021- 

If you are in group 1b you may use this link to sign-up for COVID vaccine. As vaccine supply improves, we will contact you to schedule an appointment. Please be aware that the Carilion and Sovah health care systems also will be offering vaccine as well as some physician’s offices and pharmacies.

If you would prefer a paper copy please print this document and complete the form.  The Franklin County Government Center will also have the printed copies of the document in Government Center lobby, and available at the Essig Center and at the Rocky Mount and Westlake libraries.  

January 20, 2021- 

West Piedmont Health District Enters Phase 1B But Vacicine is in Short Supply.

The West Piedmont Health District entered COVID-19 vaccination Phase 1b today and has been working hard to get the vaccine to our residents as quickly as we can. Our health district, along with the rest of the state, is seeing much higher demand for the vaccine than the doses the Commonwealth is receiving from the federal government.

“We are working on as many alternatives as possible to make the vaccine available,” said Kerry Gateley, M.D., MPH, CPE, director of the West Piedmont Health District. “The health district will continue to request COVID-19 vaccine weekly, but how many doses actually will be received is uncertain. We ask for patience as we gather more information about how much vaccine we can anticipate in the weeks to come.”

Once the vaccine is available, those eligible to receive it include police, fire, teachers, mail carriers and other essential workers whose jobs ensure continuity of government operations. Also, anyone age 65 or over or 16-64 with a documented medical condition putting you at risk of severe infection is included in Phase 1b. Individuals who qualify for the vaccine will be notified of the time and place they will be vaccinated, but a significant wait time may occur until the supply of vaccine available increases.

“Many Phase 1b recipients will get their vaccine through their workplace and do not need to seek vaccine independently,” Gateley said. Smaller and independent businesses, individuals 65 years old and up, and anyone not affiliated with a workplace clinic may add their names to the vaccine list. Instructions on how to do so will be released next week.

“Until then, we ask for the public’s patience,” Gateley said. “This is a huge undertaking, and our staff and partners are working diligently to make the vaccination process as smooth as possible.”

Gateley explained that many community partners are working together to ensure that vaccines are available. Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital and Sovah Health - Martinsville have been vaccinating phase 1a personnel since the first phase.

In the meantime, it is important to remain vigilant in COVID-19 prevention. Continue to protect yourself and others: cover your mouth and nose with a mask, wash your hands often and well, stay at least six feet away from others, avoid gatherings with anyone who is not a member of your household and get a flu shot.

Information about the vaccine and when it will be available locally will be available on the West Piedmont Health District’s webpage and Facebook pages and by recorded message on phone lines at each health department.

• Franklin County Health Department – (540) 484-0292

January 14, 2020-

COVID-19 Vaccine Phase by Health District. Note Franklin County is in the West Piedmont Health District. 

January 12, 2021-

VDH COVID-19 Vaccination Response: Please click here to view.  Frequently asked questions regarding the vaccine are answered here.

When Can You Get Vaccinated?  

January 8, 2021- 

MEDIA ADVISORY- 1.8.21

December 15, 2020- 

Virginia’s COVID-19 Vaccine: You Ask. The Experts Answer. Townhall at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, 16, 2020.  See full details here.

December 10, 2020- 

Governor Northam Announces New Mitigation Measures to Slow COVID-19 Spread

Access the Full Release here.  For more information about COVID-19 in Virignia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. 

The following mitigation measures will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14:

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention. 
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings. 
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit. 
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. 
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

November 6, 2020-

MEDIA ADVISORY- 11.6.20

October 30, 2020-

COVID Community Update-10.30.20

October 9, 2020- 

MEDIA ADVISORY-10.9.20

September 25, 2020- 

MEDIA ADVISORY-9.25.20

September 4, 2020- 

MEDIA ADVISORY-9.4.20

September 3, 2020

Franklin County has established a second $500,000 grant fund to support small business recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. View more information about the Business Recovery Grant

August 21, 2020-

Franklin County Creates Pool to Assist Residents Impacted by COVID

The Franklin County Board of Supervisors has set aside $300,000 in CARES Act funding to assist local residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Franklin County citizens that have been laid-off, furloughed, or experienced a reduction in hours due to COVID-19 may be eligible to apply for funds to assist with past due rent, mortgage, and/or utility payments.   

July 22, 2020- 

A RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING FRANKLIN COUNTY CITIZENS TO WORK TOGETHER TO DECREASE THE COMMUNITY SPREAD OF COVID-19

July 7, 2020-

MEDIA ADVISORY-7.7.20

June 29, 2020-

MEDIA ADVISORY-6.29.20

June 22, 2020- 

HEALTH PARTNERS OFFER DRIVE-THROUGH COVID CLINIC IN FRANKLIN COUNTY                                          

Doctor’s prescription not needed to participate; Testing is free

April 29, 2020- 

Still have some COVID 19 related questions? Franklin County is constantly working to answer those. 

See our frequently asked questions or tune into COVID Community Conversations hosted by Cable 12 every Wednesday at 12:30 PM

April 28, 2020- 

VDSS LAUNCHES COVID-19 APP AND WEBSITE TO HELP VIRGINIANS CONNECT TO VITAL SERVICES 

April 24, 2020- 

Franklin County Public Library prints PPE for public safety

April 21, 2020- 

COVID COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS PREMIERES ON APRIL 22:

Join Franklin County and Cable 12 this Wednesday, April 22nd at 12:30pm for the first in a series of informational sessions on the COVID-19 outbreak and what the public should know about local issues and efforts.

You are able to call (540) 489-8812 or leave your question in the live stream chat.

Citizens can access the livestream here or by this link: https://youtu.be/RbBow6lM-0M

April 15, 2020-

One person can break a chain of COVID-19 infection. Help protect your family and community. Stay home. Wash your hands. When out for essential trips, wear a cloth face covering, and keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

Link to our local health district facebook page can be found here. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from a person before they have symptoms. Take action to slow the spread by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance, and frequently washing your hands. A cloth face covering can be made from items around your home, such as a scarf or cloth napkin. Make sure the covering reaches above your nose and below your chin. Have questions? Please visit the CDC’s website. 

April 3, 2020-

Virginia Health Department officials now indicate the Roanoke region is seeing sustained community transmission of COVID-19, as the number of confirmed cases has risen to a larger level. VDH reports we are in a place in Southwestern Virginia in particular where we are seeing many of the new cases are related to other activities, in addition to travel. VDH advises that Franklin County is at a place where we are calling the transmission of COVID-19 a sustained community transmission. The definition of that is when there is greater than five cases, not including family members, acquired in the community. Please note as of today, there are approximately 10 confirmed cases in Franklin County which is one of the higher reporting amounts in our region. 

Please access the complete Public Information Advisory below.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) COMMUNITY SPREAD IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

April 1, 2020-

Shentel is offering new programs and incentives during the Coronavirus pandemic to help people access the internet.  Shentel is working hard to be flexible and help people stay connected.  Please access this link for more information.

March 30, 2020-

Governor Ralph Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.

In Virginia, you can now dial 2-1-1 to connect to health and human services.  For more information please access this link.

Grant Funds Available to Assist Small Businesses in Franklin County and Roanoke Region

March 27, 2020- 

FRANKLIN COUNTY COUNTINUES PROVIDING MODIFIED COUNTY SERVICES-

Please use this link to access Franklin County’s 3/27/20 Press Release

Questions about COVID-19 symptoms? Please find a COVID-19 Symptom Checker below. 

COVID-19 Symptom Checker.

March 25, 2020-

COVID-19 Community Hotline: 1-866-604-2873  

Questions about COVID-19 signs and symptoms? Get answers from the Carilion Community Hotline. The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1-866-604-2873. You can also learn more about Carilion Clinic guidelines, available resources and our COVID-19 response.

March 18, 2020-

Out of an abundance of caution due to the circumstances associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19), Franklin County requests all citizens to utilize phone interaction and online services at this time. The County is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees and our citizens while simultaneously providing quality services. To that end, effective March 19, 2020, the general lobby of the County Government Center is accessible where customers are requested to utilize temporary measures for business services and interaction including phone, email, website, and lobby drop box options.

The County encourages each citizen to utilize online services, which can be found at (https://www.franklincountyva.gov/) or by calling or emailing County Departments directly.

March 13, 2020-

Out of an abundance of caution for public health, Franklin County is urging residents and visitors to educate themselves regarding COVID-19. The County is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, local partners and local health officials to compile the most accurate and up-to-date information.

At this time the Commonwealth of Virginia encourages our citizens to assist us as we work to decrease the threat of community spread.

At 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency concerning COVID-19. With this declaration, the Commonwealth of Virginia is recommending social distancing at this time.

If you have questions regarding a specific County Department’s event, please contact that Department directly. 

Residents are urged to utilize County online resources for services at this time.

Franklin County residents are urged to practice healthy disease preventing practices including:

  • Washing hands often with soap
  • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces