More than four years into the epidemic, The COVID-19 virus and its many variants continue to be a threat to the health of Craig County residents.
Many people know those who have recently caught the virus, some for the first time, others for the second. While COVID-19 has become less lethal, it continues to affect individuals differently and unpredictably.
The Virginia Department of Health has statistics that show in mid-January about 35,000 people were admitted to state hospitals due to COVID-19.
The state also reports that only 5.9% of Craig County residents who are eligible have received the latest COVID-19 vaccinations.
This is despite the ready availability of vaccines, which are administered free of charge to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
The Craig County Health Department is the local public vaccine dispensary. It is located at 161 Main Street in New Castle, with weekday hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For people with private health insurance or employer-sponsored health insurance: because vaccines are considered a preventive health service, most people will continue to pay nothing out-of-pocket for COVID-19 vaccines. People must go to a pharmacy or medical provider that is “in-network” with their insurance in order to receive the vaccine at no cost.
Additionally, households can order as many as 8 free COVID-19 test kits from the website COVIDtests.gov.