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FRIDAY: Norfolk permanently closing in-person COVID-19 vaccine signups after drop in demand

The Norfolk hotline, 757-664-SHOT, and the in-person signup centers will only run through 4 p.m. on Feb. 26.

NORFOLK, Va. — A Tuesday afternoon release said the City of Norfolk would be permanently closing down their in-person COVID-19 vaccine signup locations after the state rolled out its centralized hotline, and demand for help dropped.

The Norfolk hotline, 757-664-SHOT, and the in-person centers will only run through 4 p.m. on Feb. 26.

In the time the hotline was available, employees helped 8,400 people pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine. The in-person help centers helped almost 1,000 people.

The city's release said the demand has been in decline since Virginia added its centralized statewide signup database, complete with a call center.

RELATED: Virginia's new COVID call center is live. Here's how it works, and more

Dr. Chip Filer, Norfolk's city manager, said he was "extremely proud" of the city employees who stepped up to help people who didn't have access to internet signups.

“When Vaccinate Virginia was announced February 10, my top priority was ensuring our residents experienced a smooth transition to the state system. We closely monitored the transfer of Norfolk preregistration information and I am pleased to report no issues were found," he said. "Now is the time to refocus our support of the Norfolk Department of Public Health and help them with other vaccination needs.”

While the Norfolk hotline is winding down, residents can now pre-register online through the Virginia Department of Health or call the VDH hotline at (877) 829-4682.