COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Blue Ridge Health District

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Doctors are concerned what the fall season will look like as coronavirus cases in the Blue Ridge Health District continue to rise.

However, there are things you can do to slow the spread before school starts.

UVA Health’s Doctor Bill Petri says new variants of COVID-19 are spreading across Virginia, and cases will continue to rise if more people don’t get vaccinated.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve seen a fourfold rise in cases of COVID-19,” Petri said.

The number of COVID-19 cases was very low just two months ago. Now, it’s a different story.

“Right now, we’re seeing about 400 cases - so we are still at 90% fewer cases. But two weeks ago, we were seeing 100,” Petri said. “Clearly things are going in the wrong direction, and we can view Delta as one of the things that’s pushing that.”

In the Blue Ridge Health District, the percent-positivity rate has climbed to 3.9%.

“A month ago, it was about 1% of all the tests were coming back positive, and so when we go to 4% it means it’s a way of measuring how much is circulating in the community. It gives us an additional look at that besides just people who are diagnosed and the two things agree with one another,” Petri said.

The doctor says more people need to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.

“There’s something called the Gamma variant, and that originated in Brazil. Right now, that’s about 10% of our COVID cases in Virginia are the Gamma. About 80% are Delta and 10% are Alpha, that was the original virus from the United Kingdom,” Petri said.

Petri says there are two things you can do right now to help move past this pandemic: get vaccinated and wear a mask.

“The worst thing for all of us would be to know that we had transmitted the infection to someone else. I think none of us want that, and that’s what masking and vaccines can prevent,” he said.

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