New River Valley health expert encourages outdoor holiday gatherings
Dr. Noelle Bissell of the New River Health District says we are reaching a level where there's significant immunity between people who have been infected and those who are vaccinated. However, you must remain cautious while traveling and gathering.
What’s News Today: Clothing drive, consignment sale
Civic organizations in Salem are holding a clothing drive today. You can drop them off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center near the Community Room. The Botetourt County School Board will hold a public hearing about is budget for the next fiscal year. If you would like to comment ahead of time, you can contact the School Board Clerk. The LFA Kids Consignment Sale returns to the Berglund Center today.
What’s News Today: Second shot vaccine clinic, Return to Learn
The New River Health District holds a second-dose vaccine clinic today. The Virginia Constitution requires local governments that elect governing bodies by district to redistrict every ten years based on census data. School administrators in Lynchburg will give an update on the Return to Learn Plan. AdThe Campbell County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about a proposed solar farm. To offset the loss of revenue, the real estate tax would need to increase from 16 cents to 22 cents per $100.
Johnson and Johnson vaccine could be key to the distribution slowdown
ROANOKE, Va. – With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deeming the Johnson and Johnson safe to use and effective, it could be key to helping solve the distribution dilemma in the Commonwealth. Despite the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being 66% effective, Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director for the New River Health District, said it will work. “We say this every year about flu vaccinations. Even flu vaccinations are not even that high.”Requiring standard refrigeration temperatures, Bissell said the vaccine is a more convenient dose to deliver and administer. “The Johnson and Johnson works very well if you are going to do a big drive-thru event because again it’s a one-time dose,” she said.
New River Health District cancels Thursday vaccination clinic ahead of winter weather
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va – The New River Health District is making changes to its COVID-19 vaccination clinics due to expected winter weather Thursday. Appointments scheduled for then were either honored Wednesday and will also be honored on Friday, as long as conditions improve by then. New River Health Director Noelle Bissell wants to remind the community that just because the weather is bad, COVID-19 doesn’t stop spreading. If we do have power outages and other weather issues,” said Bissell. For more information, you can visit the New River Health District’s Facebook page.
Blacksburg Pharmacy providing the COVID vaccine at a local level
While people across the country struggle to register for a vaccine dose at those large retailers, locally-owned Blacksburg Pharmacy has been vaccinating at least 100 people a week. The pharmacy gets a mix of its own orders of vaccine but also takes any doses the New River Health District may not be able to distribute. The pharmacy gets a mix of its own orders of vaccine but also takes any doses the New River Health District may not be able to distribute. “That should allow that Health District to prioritize patients better, because if one store isn’t getting as much vaccine as another as you might leave a patient behind who’s more eligible,” Puckett said. Puckett said the pharmacy expects to start getting more doses next week.
New River Health District gets COVID-19 vaccine deliveries cut in half
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va – The New River Health District says it is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. The district has done over 12,000 vaccinations since it started receiving its first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine last month. New River Health District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell says the health district was originally getting about 5,000 doses a week but now it’s only getting 2,000 doses a week. [Virginia planning to release 40,000 coronavirus vaccines first-doses by Sunday]“We definitely have greater vaccinating capacity than we do have vaccines available so we’re waiting for that day when windows floodgates open and there’s more vaccine, because right now we have a tremendous challenge trying to deal with the uncertainty of how much vaccine we have from day to day or week to week,” Bissell said. Bissell expects the New River Health District expects to stay in Phase 1b until at least February.
‘We just don’t have enough’: High demand for COVID-19 vaccine in New River Valley
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va – Health officials in the New River Valley are becoming overwhelmed with the public’s demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. The New River Health District has distributed nearly 10,000 doses since getting its first shipment. Right now the district is finishing up its efforts to vaccinate teachers and people ages 65+. New River Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell says sometimes the health district gets more than 100 calls a minute related to the vaccine. Bissell says unless other COVID-19 vaccines get approved or the state starts getting bigger shipments, the health district could remain in Phase 1b as late as March.
COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue in New River Valley as Moderna vaccine arrives
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va – Long-term care facilities in the New River Valley could start receiving the COVID-19 vaccines as early as next week. On Wednesday, the New River Health District received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine. While plans are still being made for public distribution, New River Health Director Doctor Noelle Bissell said they are working as quickly as possible to get people vaccinated. The health department is going to be prioritizing one ad, where we get our EMS providers,” Bissell said. Bissell said the health district is considering a drive-thru distribution of the vaccine but can also accommodate people indoors if the weather gets bad.
COVID-19 cases rise in New River Valley due to social gatherings, officials say
Va – An uptick in COVID-19 cases in the New River Valley is mostly being caused by social gatherings, according to New River Health District Director Noelle Bissell. The rise in cases has caused several school divisions in the region to transition to online learning, but Bissell says transmission isn’t happening in the classroom. “Across the district, it’s primarily spreading through social gatherings and in some of our religious services. We know how to control it, if we watch our distance and seek outside or inside well-ventilated areas, if we wear a mask and wash our hands,” Bissell said. Bissell says the rise in cases is also likely reflective of outbreaks in long-term care facilities and as cases continue to rise, it gets hard to track them.
New River Health Director encourages community to keep numbers low
CHRISTIANBURG, Va – New River Health District Director Noelle Bissell says COVID-19 cases in the New River Valley are trending in the right direction. Right now most of the cases continue to be in the college populations at Virginia Tech and Radford University. Bissell says while the number of cases among students continues to decrease, with the winter months right around the corner it is now more important than ever to follow guidelines from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health. “We’re at a relatively low level of sustained community transmission, but with colder weather and COVID fatigue we run the risk of letting our guard down and we ask everyone to stay vigilant,” New River Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said. Bissell and the health district are also encouraging students from the university’s in the New River Valley to be cautious before potentially heading home for fall break.
Virginia Tech president to host town hall on coronavirus response
BLACKSBURG, Va. Virginia Techs president, Tim Sands, is set to have a town hall talking about the community-wide response to coronavirus. The event is set to start at 11 a.m. and go to noon. Sands will be joined by Blacksburg mayor Leslie Hager-Smith and New River Health District director Dr. Noelle Bissell. Watch below:
Whats News Today: graduation, COVID testing
The school system will hold an online graduation today for Patrick Henry High School at 10 a.m. and William Fleming High School at 2 p.m. The New River Health District will have a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Montgomery County today. The testing site will be open from noon to 2 p.m. at Blacksburg High School. The Danville Community Colleges Evaluation Subcommittee will meet today in executive session. The Wytheville Community College Board will meet today.
Giles County sees first cases of COVID-19
GILES COUNTY, Va. – Two people in Giles County have the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)'s New River Health District announced on Sunday. Both are self-isolating at home and VDH says health department staff are conducting a contact investigation to identify those who had contacts with the patients. Due to patient privacy reasons, VDH isn’t releasing any other information about the two people. [Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]
What’s News Today: Flu shots, skiing
ROANOKE, Va. – The New River Health District holds free seasonal flu vaccine clinics today. There are clinics from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Radford and Giles County Health Departments. We will learn more today about a new collaboration between two local schools. We will have more on the announcement today on 10 News at Noon. Virginia Tech students will join law enforcement for Buffet with Blue.