Williamsburg-James City County Schools staff began receiving the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today, Jan. 22, 2021 — the first group to receive vaccinations at a temporary clinic established at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center.
The new vaccination clinic is not yet open to the general public; WJCC Schools staff are the only people being vaccinated at this site currently. The school division is providing updates directly to staff about the schedule and registration process.
The Peninsula Health District, which encompasses the City and James City County, is now in Phase 1B of the Virginia Department of Health’s phased distribution system. With this clinic, the two localities are able to begin offering vaccinations for select groups within Phase 1B, such as the teachers and other WJCC employees who will be in substantial in-person contact with students. Please allow the workers at these sites to work without interruption. An announcement will be made when the sites open for public vaccination.
“We are grateful to work with city, county, and health leaders to take monumental step forward in the fight against COVID,” said Dr. Olwen Herron, WJCC Schools superintendent. “The start of the vaccination process, coupled the consistent use of masks, social distancing and cleaning protocols in schools, strengthen our ability to bring students back to classrooms safely.”
In addition to school staff, City of Williamsburg and James City County employees who are eligible according to the Virginia Department of Health’s phased distribution system will be able to schedule an appointment at the Visitor Center clinic through their employer. Vaccine supply at this location is limited; appointments will be scheduled accordingly.
“By starting with a smaller pool of people, we are able to test our processes within the clinic and make adjustments for when we have enough vaccine supply to open it to the general public,” City Manager Andrew O. Trivette said. “We are grateful to James City County, Colonial Williamsburg, and WJCC Schools for their partnership in this important effort.”
“It has taken a tremendous amount of effort to get to this point, and I want to thank all involved as we begin vaccinating our WJCC teachers,” said Scott Stevens, James City County administrator. “We have a long way to go before we are done with vaccinations within our community, but today’s event is a great first step.”
The clinic at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center is one of three vaccination clinics that opened on the Peninsula this week. The Peninsula’s six localities worked together to increase the number of vaccinations being administered in the region. These new clinics — at the Visitor Center, the Hampton Roads Convention Center, and Christopher Newport University — will be capable of serving large numbers of people each operational day once enough vaccine supply is made available. Existing medical staff, including school nurses, from each locality will serve as vaccinators.
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that our community is stronger when we work together,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. “Today, I am honored that the Foundation can once again help the Greater Williamsburg community through this difficult time by transforming the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center into a temporary vaccination center in partnership with local governments and the Virginia Department of Health. The next few months will be challenging as our community is immunized against the virus, but working together I am confident we will persevere and emerge stronger.”
The Visitor Center will remain closed to Colonial Williamsburg guests until the facility is no longer needed for this initiative. During this time, Colonial Williamsburg encourages guests to park for free at the Art Museums’ parking lot. Guests who opt to park at the Visitor Center can ride the Colonial Williamsburg shuttle to access the Historic Area, Art Museums and satellite ticket offices. In addition to digital ticketing options, visitors can purchase tickets at one of the museum’s satellite ticket offices listed below:
- Online, colonialwilliamsburg.org/tickets
- The Art Museum (9:15am – 5:30pm), 301 S. Nassau St., includes free parking for guests
- Lumber House (9:15am – 4:45pm) in the Historic Area
For medical questions related to the vaccine, contact the Virginia Department of Health at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343) or visit vdh.virginia.gov.
James City County: Renee Dallman (757) 272-3337
City of Williamsburg: Nicole Trifone (757) 707-0478
WJCC Schools: Eileen Cox (757) 603-6480
Colonial Williamsburg: Joseph Straw (757) 509-1723
Photo: Sarah Bottiglieri, who works at Laurel Lane Elementary School, received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, at the temporary clinic opened at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center.