Asking the community for continued patience as it makes more vaccine appointments available, Valley Health hopes to issue a centralized phone line in the coming days to address the high demand for vaccines.

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced that about half of all Virginians are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but that eligibility only goes so far while appointment times are limited and the statewide registration system maxes out on local appointments within minutes each day.

“Thousands of people are going after hundreds of spots,” said Carol Weare, public relations manager for Valley Health.

On its Facebook page, health system employees have been addressing comments as people attempt to register at noon each day when the link to the statewide system is posted at Valley Health’s site, just to learn all the spots are gone even before they can finish filling out their forms.

A shipment of 3,000 vaccines arrived in the Lord Fairfax Health District this week and was distributed for appointments at Valley Health’s four Point of Dispensing sites through the end of the week.

The health district also received a shipment of vaccines this week and plans to vaccinate Virginians 65 and older at a free community POD from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Page County High School, 184 Panther Drive, Shenandoah.

“Those vaccinated at this event will be given directions on receiving their second vaccine as well,” a Wednesday health district news release states. “To avoid overcrowding, LFHD requests that people stagger their arrival times based on the first letter of their last names: A to D should arrive at 9 a.m.; E to H at 10; I to P at 11; and Q to Z at noon. Upon arrival, each person will be given a numbered registration sheet, and asked to remain warm in their car until their number is called."

The Health Department stresses that people should still wear face coverings to protect themselves and others. Also continue practicing social distancing, washing of hands and avoiding gatherings with anyone outside your immediate household, the department asks.

The VDH reports that 354,243 people statewide have received at least one vaccine dose, an increase of 33,650 since Wednesday.

It also reported 45,074 people fully vaccinated, an increase of 5,616.

Locally, Frederick County reported 4,469 doses administered (up 22), along with 702 people fully vaccinated (up 32).

Winchester reported 5,345 doses (up 455) and 838 fully vaccinated (up 34).

Clarke County reported 1,474 doses (up 78) and 99 fully vaccinated (up nine).

Warren County reported 2,251 doses (up 506) and 208 fully vaccinated (up five).

Shenandoah County reported doses 3,329 (up 181) and 262 fully vaccinated (up nine).

Page County reported 1,185 doses (up 152) and 96 fully vaccinated (up one).

As of Thursday, Frederick added 40 cases, Shenandoah 20, Page six, Warren 15, Winchester 19 and Clarke eight.

There were six new local hospitalizations — three in Shenandoah, two in Clarke and one in Frederick.

Shenandoah recorded two new deaths and Clarke one new death.

Elsewhere in the region, Harrisonburg has reported 5,104 cases (up 20), 142 hospitalizations and 57 deaths (up one).

Rockingham County has reported 5,192 cases (up 71), 261 hospitalizations (up four) and 68 deaths (up four).

The VDH at its website lists outbreaks at selected facilities that include nursing homes, long-term care facilities, K-12 settings and medical facilities reporting outbreak-associated COVID-19 cases and deaths. The site, tinyurl.com/ya8y8vs2, updates cases on Fridays.

The following are reporting outbreaks in progress as of Friday among residents/patients/students as well as employees:

Fox Trail Senior Living in Stephens City — reported Dec. 28 with 15 cases and no deaths.

Green Valley Commons in Frederick County — reported Dec. 28 with five cases and no deaths.

Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury in Frederick County — reported Oct. 29, with 49 (up seven) cases and six deaths.

Commonwealth Senior Living in Berryville — reported Dec. 7 with 37 cases as of Friday (up one) and fewer than six deaths.

Page County Middle School — reported Jan. 7, with seven cases (up seven) and no deaths.

Skyview Springs Nursing Home in Page County — reported Oct. 23, with 33 cases (up five) and fewer than six deaths.

Life Care Center of New Market — reported Dec. 29 with 20 cases and no deaths.

Skyline Terrace Nursing Home in Woodstock — reported Dec. 28 with 63 cases (up 30) and no deaths.

Lynn Care Center in Warren County — reported Dec. 10, with 17 cases (up two) and no deaths.

Evergreen Health and Rehab in Winchester — reported Nov. 16, with 145 cases and 10 deaths (up one).

Winchester Medical Center (medical facility) — reported Jan. 6, with 24 cases (up 24) and no deaths.

Contact Josette Keelor at jkeelor@nvdaily.com