BRHD COVID-19 Vaccination Update
January 21, 2021
A lot has happened in the past 30 days since the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) received its first shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations. Below is a long update but full of important information regarding our vaccination efforts...

  • Like other health districts in Virginia, BRHD faces a severe shortage of vaccines in relation to the demand/number of individuals in Phases 1A and 1B. This comes as a result of a limited supply coming from the federal level to the Virginia Department of Health who then allocates to health districts throughout Virginia. All BRHD vaccination plans depend on availability of vaccines. At this point, the demand for vaccines in our District far exceeds the current supply.
  • BRHD will receive 2,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations every week for the next four weeks. This does not include second doses. We are working on an equitable plan to distribute this amongst all the localities.
  • We have hired and onboarded dozens of new COVID-19 vaccinators as both paid RN positions and MRC volunteers to help increase the number of vaccines distributed at each site.
  • Our Kmart site is up and running. Starting next week, BRHD will host vaccine clinics at this location five (5) days per week. These clinics are by appointment only. Our initial goal was to vaccinate 1,000 people, six days per week at the Kmart site while simultaneously operating vaccine clinics in surrounding counties; however, this plan has changed over night given the recent news of a vaccine shortage. 
  • We are engaging with pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and more to have multiple avenues for people to access vaccinations throughout the district. When more vaccine is available we will distribute doses to these partners to dispense to the community.
  • The State’s categorization of residents into Phases helps to prioritize who should be vaccinated and in what order. These categories have been redefined regularly since vaccine launch in January. We have been adapting our prioritization process internally throughout the process. We are now working to advance the completed BRHD surveys into the vaccination appointment system in the order determined by VDH. For a complete updated list of Phase definitions and priority order, visit the VDH Vaccination Response website
  • We are continuing to vaccinate individuals in Phase 1A and have started Phase 1B. It will take months to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1B.

Phase 1A Status Updates
  • There are still thousands of individuals who fall into the Phase 1A criteria that qualify to be vaccinated in BRHD. We are dedicated to getting these individuals vaccinated as soon as possible. To do this, we are reserving appointments for Phase 1A and hosting Phase 1A-specific priority clinics throughout the district. We have partnered with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital who is committed to helping with vaccination of Phase 1A individuals outside of Sentara affiliation.
  • If you are eligible for Phase 1A and have not yet filled out the survey to get on a list for vaccines, visit our website at
Phase 1B Status Updates
  • BRHD launched Phase 1B on Monday, January 18, 2021. We learned during Governor Northam‘s press conference on Thursday, January 14, 2021, that Virginia had made the decision to revise phasing qualifications by expanding who is eligible for Phase 1B vaccines to include individuals ages 65+ and those 16-64 with high risk medical conditions. BRHD quickly adapted to this change and launched surveys to capture information for individuals added to Phase 1B. 
  • Phase 1B Essential Workers: We currently have a mix of Phase 1A and 1B individuals who are receiving vaccines at our Kmart site. Starting later this week, and moving forward, we will also host specialty clinics throughout the district for Phase 1B organizations and employees. These specialty clinics will be closed to the public and set up specifically for Phase 1B groups such as schools, day cares, migrant farm workers, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities. This approach allows us to vaccinate more people at the COVID-19 Vaccination Center on Hydraulic Rd. in the former Kmart lot.
  • Phase 1B Individuals 65+ and 16-64 with High Risk Medical Conditions: Starting in February, we will allocate specific days for individuals that meet these criteria to get vaccinated at clinics throughout the district. It will take several months to get everyone in Phase 1B vaccinated. Completing the survey is the first step in getting vaccinated. BRHD will contact individuals when it’s time to schedule an appointment which will likely be several months from now.
  • BRHD partnered with UVA to pilot vaccinating a group of Phase 1B individuals over the age of 75. Read below more information on this initiative.
BRHD + UVA Partner to Vaccinate 75+ year olds
On Monday, January 18, we launched a pilot project with UVA Health to vaccinate 5,500 area residents, ages 75 and older, at UVA Health's vaccination clinic. These residents had completed our online survey (indicating their interest in being vaccinated) prior to the January 14 changes in Phase 1B criteria. Within 12 hours after the pilot launched, nearly 4,000 people had made appointments. Though the initiation of the project was met with some scheduling complications, issues are being resolved and the clinic is operating smoothly. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve more of our District's residents and work with such a committed partner.
Surveys of Intent Now Open
Anyone eligible for Phase 1A or Phase 1B may complete our online survey to let us know of your intent to be vaccinated. The surveys do NOT guarantee an appointment, but allow us to enter you into the system in order to ultimately schedule an appointment. Appointment availability relies on staff, demand, and vaccine supply and it will take several months to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1B. If you have completed the survey and not received a confirmation email, please check your Spam and Promotions folders and look for an email from “Google Forms”. We are aware that some individuals are not receiving confirmation emails but if you see a confirmation screen after completing the survey, then we have received your input.
BRHD COVID-19 Hotline
BRHD set up a COVID-19 resource hotline in March 2020. Since then, our hotline staff has tripled and helped thousands of individuals and employers throughout the District. Our hotline staff assists with questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 including but not limited to exposures, isolation, quarantine, outbreaks, testing resources, and vaccination information.
Over the past few weeks the hotline has experienced an overwhelming increase in call volume. Recently, the hotline system was relocated and upgraded to allow operators to better respond to callers needs. BRHD is grateful to UVA for assisting with this transition. With the new space and technology support, we were able to increase from 4 to 15 phones. Phone lines are staffed by three fulltime hotline operators and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. We are working as quickly as possible to answer all of the community calls and hope that you will remain patient as we continue to hire and onboard new operators and increase our capacity to serve community members.
BRHD Press Conference on Friday, January 22
BRHD will host a virtual press conference on Friday, January 22 at 2:00 p.m. The City of Charlottesville is providing technical support for this press conference. The press conference will be live-streamed on the City's social media channels and shared on BRHD social media channels. The best audio/visual will be available via the City's Boxcast stream.
Reminder: Testing Sites Through January
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid traveling and mixing households. By continuing to wear face masks, maintaining physical distance, and washing hands routinely, the spread of infection will continue to decline. If, however, you should need testing for any reason, these options below are available.

Testing is available for people ages 16 years and older throughout the District. We have tests for 100 pre-registered clients and 100 walk-ins.

For an updated list of free drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites, visit the BRHD website.