VDH says spiking COVID-19 numbers are due to colder weather and Thanksgiving holiday travel


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The combination of the increasing COVID-19 cases and the reality that the omicron variant has now arrived in Virginia is cause for concern. It has people heading to vaccine clinics for shots — and boosters — in increasing numbers.

The Virginia Department of Health reports the two reasons for the spike in new COVID-19 cases to 3,074 is the advance of colder weather where people are inside, socializing and many might be unvaccinated. The second reason is Thanksgiving vacation where more people got into cars and hit the roads and gathered as Americans do to celebrate the holiday. 

10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox went to the Norfolk COVID-19 community vaccination clinic to talk to people getting vaccines Thursday.

Simonee Thomas was thinking about those 3,074 new covid cases when she got her booster Thursday.

“It is frightening. The way COVID-19 is moving forward or propelling in the community. That is why it is important. It is a must. It is imperative that we get vaccinated,” Thomas said.  

VDH says a majority number of transmissions are among the unvaccinated. 

Pearl Beatty is fully vaccinated and got a booster Wednesday.

“I think that should be a warning sign to people who are not vaccinated at all, that they are going to have severe repercussions if they don’t get the shot,” Beatty said.  

Heidi Batten was with her father getting the booster, 

“He’s 91 years old and he has Alzheimer’s. Other than that, he’s healthy, and we want to keep him around a little bit longer, and it’s important to have the booster to make sure he doesn’t die from such a horrible death,” she said.

Thomas urges people to get vaccinated.

“Wake up and get vaccinated and get boostered. Please do it. It saves lives,” she said.

We asked Thomas what about those who say “I don’t want to get vaccinated.”

“You are not listening to the science. It suggests the vaccination works,” she said.

Heidi Batten looks at it another way.

“We are Americans, and we are the land of the free to do what we want to do. If that is what you choose, but don’t complain if you get sick — that’s what you asked for,” she said. 

To the Black community that is disproportionately not vaccinated, Thomas, who is African American, wants you to know this: “African Americans, we need to be vigilant in our health. We have so many underlying health issues.” 

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