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Boosters for 5-11 year olds available as cases rise in Richmond

People stand in line
May 19, 2020 File Photo: A large line forms as people wait outside Diversity Thrift for a free Covid-19 testing event to begin. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Richmond joined most of its surrounding counties in the CDC’s "medium" community level on Thursday, with 248 confirmed COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people.

COVID-19 cases are rising quickly in the city – Richmond has seen reported cases nearly double over the last two weeks.

Officials at the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts say they expect cases to surge in Richmond and have increased the number of free testing events in the area. They recommend stocking up on take-home tests and say vaccines are still the best protection against a serious case of COVID.

“Staying up to date on vaccines remains the best tool we have at preventing serious infections from COVID-19,” said Joanna Cirillo, public health nurse supervisor at RHHD, in a release.

On that front, officials also announced that boosters for 5 to 11 year olds will be available at Richmond and Henrico County vaccination events starting next week. The CDC adjusted the Pfizer emergency use authorization on Thursday to approve boosters for that age range.

In Virginia, the 5-11 age group has consistently been more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 than younger children or teenagers.

Free at-home tests can be obtained at some Richmond Public Library locations, as well as through USPS. Vaccination and testing sites can be found on the health district’s website.

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.