Franklin County COVID update includes encouraging signs, warning

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:26 PM EDT
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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WDBJ) - Leaders in Franklin County say their community is faring better than some of its neighbors, but the threat from COVID-19 is real, and the future is uncertain.

As we close in on flu season, they also shared a warning with residents.

“We were a resilient community a hundred years ago,” said County Administrator Christopher Whitlow, referring to the flu pandemic in 1918. “We continue to be a very strong, resilient community now.”

The leaders who joined the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce for the Franklin County COVID-19 update Tuesday morning shared an ecouraging outlook.

“While things were very, very dire, if you will, and things are still certainly uncertain,” Whitlow said during the online forum, “we are very fortunate that our economy continues to rebound.”

And when considering public health, officials said the growth of COVID-19 has been slow in Franklin County compared to other communities in the region.

But that doesn’t mean residents can let down their guard.

Carl Cline is the administrator of Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital.

“COVID ... has been and remains a very real threat to our community,” he said.

Especially when you consider that flu season is just around the corner.

“These numbers for COVID have got to stay down as we approach flu season,” said Nancy Bell, public information officer for the QWest Piedmont Health District, " because if they’re allowed to rise at a time when flu comes on, which is pretty shortly here, it’s a perfect storm for making sure that our hospitals and doctors offices cannot handle the capacity."

Get a flu shot, health officials in Franklin County recommended, and follow the advice we’ve all heard.

Don’t forget to wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance from others.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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