RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are ahead of schedule moving into ‘Phase 1b’ of coronavirus vaccinations.

The health districts expect to vaccinate roughly 8,000 people next week that fall under ‘1B,’ Acting Director of Richmond City and Henrico Health Districts Dr. Melissa Viray, said in a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon with Richmond officials.

Previously, the health district said Richmond and Henrico would not enter ‘Phase 1B’ until February. But last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam urged health departments to move quickly and set a daily goal of vaccinating 25,000 people statewide. Eventually, he hopes the state is able to vaccinate 50,000 people a day.

Starting Monday, people in the following categories will receive the vaccine simultaneously:

  • People 75 and older
  • Police, Fire, and Hazmat
  • Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  • Childcare/PreK-12 Teachers/Staff

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said because the district is remote, those who are in contact with students and families, such as bus drivers, nutrition works, office staff and administration, will have access to the vaccine before teachers.

Kamras said the goal is to have all RPS employees vaccinated before the start of the new school year.

Next week, there will be seven mass vaccination sites in our area. Four of these events will be organized by the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and held at the Richmond Raceway. The other three are regional events held by the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Viray said they will be moving through the first round of 1b essential workers “as weeks go by” and they expect to add the rest of 1b — Grocery store, public transit and postal service workers — in the coming weeks. Dr. Viray was unable to say for sure when this subphase will have access to the vaccine.

If you’re 75 up and want to make sure you are accounted for, fill out the interest form and local health officials will contact you. 

Watch the full COVID-19 update here: