COVID state of emergency expiring in Virginia

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s state of emergency - declared over a year ago as the pandemic was gaining momentum - expires this week.

Tuesday, Governor Northam acknowledged the burden that COVID restrictions placed on many families and businesses. And he thanked Virginians for the precautions they took to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But he also defended his decisions, and said he remains concerned about those who are still unvaccinated.

It was March 12, 2020 when Northam declared the state of emergency, stepping up the state’s response to COVID-19.

In a new interview, Northam acknowledged the challenges created by the restrictions, but said he always tried to follow the science. And comparisons with other states, he argued, demonstrate Virginia followed the right path.

“While these decisions have been difficult, they’ve been done in the interest of keeping Virginians safe and healthy,” Northam told WDBJ7, “and I think we’ve been able to accomplish that. "

Virginia ended all COVID-19 mitigation measures May 28, and although the state of emergency is also ending, Northam said he remains concerned that many Virginians are still unvaccinated.

“I want to thank Virginians for all that they have done to put us in a much better place with COVID,” Northam said, “And I encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to go ahead and take that next step, and roll up your sleeve and take a shot. And let’s all get back to a near normal life here in Virginia.”

Northam said he is excited children between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible for vaccination. And he said he expects the FDA to permit vaccinations for children five and older in the next few weeks.

Northam said he hopes more parents will consider their options, and have their children vaccinated.

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