This week, Loudoun County was approaching the milestone of having 10% of the population receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
That comes as state and federal leaders continue to ramp up supply and distribution. A new federal initiative to make vaccines available through pharmacies—in addition to ongoing supplies distributed to local health districts—is launching in Loudoun this week.
Although daily case counts and COVID test positivity rates are falling in Virginia and in Loudoun, the arrival of more contagious variants have raised concerns among public health leaders that another spike it possible in the weeks ahead. The UK variant was found in Northern Virginia in late January and last week the first case with the South African variant was detected in Virginia, which is now the third state, along with South Carolina and Maryland, to find cases of the more transmissible strain that may be more resistant to vaccines.
Loudoun’s average daily case rate has been cut in half since a peak on Jan. 29, falling from 324 to 154. Likewise, the test positivity rate has declined from a peak of more than 19% in early January to under 12% this week.
The CVS store in Lansdowne is one of 36 in Virginia to share in an initial 26,000 doses through the federal government contract. Keeping with state protocols, the vaccines are available to residents age 65 and older. It is expected that up to 100 appointments per day will be offered. Signups and details about that program are available through the “Get COVID-19 Vaccination Info” button at cvs.com. The Lansdowne store, store #2278, is located at 19305 Ruby Dr.
The CVS program is in addition to the state-led distribution through the Health Department. During the past week, that program has been averaging more than 1,200 doses per day at two points of distribution sites—at the former Nordstrom store at the Dulles Town Center mall for the public and at Brambleton Middle School for educators, according to data reported through the state Department of Health. As of Feb. 11, 42,200 Loudoun residents had received at least one dose and 9,276 were fully vaccinated, according to the report.
The school division completed the first stage of its vaccinations on Friday, getting shots into the arms of 10,500 employees. Starting this week, those educators will rotate back through the vaccination clinic to receive their second shot.
The program is a cooperative effort between the school division, the Loudoun County Health Department and the County Office of Emergency Management. At full capacity, the school clinic vaccinated 960 employees a day. School Board members have praised the program and the scores of individuals who worked to quickly establish the vaccination site and the systems to move employees quickly through the process—often building systems in hours or days that typically would take weeks or months to complete.
The school division center administered both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Employees will receive the same vaccine for their first and second dose. Teacher participation in the vaccination program is voluntary and the school division has no plans to require staff or students to be vaccinated prior to participating in school activities.