COVID-19 positivity rate high in BRHD, but there are more tools to fight this wave

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:01 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website shows a medium community level of COVID-19 for the Charlottesville area.

The positivity rate is on the rise, as well, but doctors with UVA Health says there is a big difference between now and previous waves.

“It’s really difficult to interpret these numbers now because of home testing,” Doctor Costi Sifri said Thursday, May 26.

The PCR tests are the ones that are counted by health officials. Dr. Sifri says some people get a PCR test already knowing they have the virus after getting results from an at-home test.

“That may inflate that number higher, however, as I think we’ve talked about over the last several weeks now, there is a lot of community transmission of COVID,” Sifri said.

The positivity rate in the Charlottesville area is back at about what is was in March 2020, around 14%. However, now there seems to be no shortages of at-home tests or PCR tests.

“We do have a lot more tools now than we did before,” Dr. Sifri said. “We have a widely vaccinated population.”

The doctor added, “Hopefully, people will avail themselves of vaccines, particularly boosters if they haven’t gotten them.”

There are currently 24 patients at the UVA Medical Center with COVID-19: 18 in acute units, four in ICU, and two in pediatrics.

“There still is significant risk of getting an active infection, particularly if you’re not protected,” Dr. Reid Adams said. “We’re not out of the pandemic at this point.”

If you’re eligible for a second booster, doctors are encouraging you to get it right away. This includes people over the age of 12 with medical conditions, those at high risk and those over 50. However, it has to be at least four months after your first booster.

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