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More than half of WDBJ7 viewing area seeing ‘substantial to high’ COVID transmission, per CDC

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - According to the CDC, more than half of Southwest Virginia is seeing “substantial to high” levels of COVID-19 transmission.

The CDC now recommends all Americans in those areas wear masks indoors in public whether they’re vaccinated or not.

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow weighed in on the updated guidance on a media call Wednesday.

“We really need to take a step back, reassess, and I would hope that everyone understands that we should change guidance based on changes in the information that’s available to us,” said Morrow.

While Virginia’s guidelines have not changed, Morrow did offer this insight: “I personally have started wearing my mask again.”

That’s because according to CDC data, of the 25 Virginia counties in the WDBJ7 viewing area,13 have high COVID transmission rates. Three have substantial, eight have moderate, and only one – Nelson County – has a low transmission rate.

Meanwhile, the cities of Lynchburg and Danville have high transmission rates and the city of Roanoke has substantial transmission.

“The bottom line is, unfortunately, our case count continues to go up,” said Morrow. “It’s not surprising, but it is very disappointing.”

In the past week, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District has seen 230 new COVID cases. Morrow says 97% of those are in unvaccinated people.

“If you have been on the fence, it’s time to get off the fence and get vaccinated,” said Morrow.

Vaccinations though are on the rise, too, according to Morrow. 2,500 doses have been distributed over the past week.

“It’s [COVID] not going to go away until people do what they need to do to protect themselves,” said Morrow.

Wednesday, Virginia reached another benchmark as well, topping 1,000 new COVID cases in a single day since April, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health dashboard.

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