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SPS offers additional vaccine clinics

Suffolk Public Schools will offer first and second-dose COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff four times this month beginning Tuesday.

First and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be offered from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Aug. 3 at King’s Fork Middle School, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Aug. 4 at King’s Fork High School, from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 5 at John F. Kennedy Middle School and from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 24 at King’s Fork Middle School.

Anyone who gets their first dose on Aug. 4, Aug. 5 or Aug. 24 will need to schedule their second dose directly through Rite Aid Pharmacy. Students need to be at least 12 years old to get the vaccine.

To register for one of the clinics, people need to complete the COVID-19 vaccine clinic form at https://bit.ly/3vc8w1r to ensure enough vaccine supply is available at each clinic. Parent permission is required for anyone under 18 to receive the vaccine.

For more information about the Pfizer vaccine, the school division has a fact sheet for recipients and caregivers on its website at spsk12.net.

In Suffolk, 1,559 people ages 12 to 15 (30.8% in that age group), and another 1,079 ages 16 to 17 (44.5%), have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, there have been 3,371 people (47%) who have received at least one dose.

There are 1,188 people ages 12 to 15 (23.5% in that age group), 889 ages 16 to 17 (36.7%) and 2,810 ages 18 to 24 (39.2%) in Suffolk who have been fully vaccinated.

As of Aug. 2, the SPS dashboard on its website will show the total new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days rather than the rate per 100,000, according to information on the division’s website, to align closer to the Virginia Department of Health’s dashboard view and to highlight key metrics it says are recommended for school planning and decision making.

The current number of new cases in Suffolk per 100,000 people for the past seven days is 114.1, a level indicating high transmission and up from 70.2 July 26. The percent positivity in the city is 9.3%, down slightly from 9.6% a week ago.

After having five straight weeks with no reported cases in the school division, it reported five cases for the week of July 19 through July 25 — three at King’s Fork High School and one each at King’s Fork Middle School and the School Administrative Office — and another four cases, three at King’s Fork High School and one at King’s Fork Middle School, for the week of July 26 through Aug. 1.

At the school level, one case does not equal one person, and could include a single person who was at multiple locations.

For the week of July 25 to July 31, the Eastern Region has reported one outbreak at a K-12 location, four at congregate settings and one each at a long-term care facility and a healthcare setting. The state department of health defines an outbreak as there being at least two cases of COVID-19 at a location.