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Roanoke Valley COVID numbers increase ahead of holiday

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - According to the Virginia Department of Health, COVID cases locally are following the same pattern as the national trend.

“The fact that we are going into the holidays with higher numbers is discouraging for everyone,” says Dr. Cynthia Morrow of the Roanoke-Alleghany Health Districts.

Officials say the districts have seen an increase in COVID cases. Dr. Morrow says the biggest contributing factor to the rise in cases is the colder weather and a shift indoors.

“Inside a lot of people are choosing not to wear their masks and when we’re inside and we have close contact, we spread the virus. So I think that that’s probably the biggest reason.”

It’s a shift that could have an impact with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching.

“We expect that because of the indoor gatherings, because of Thanksgiving, we expect our case counts to go up for at least the next few weeks,” she adds.

Dr. Morrow also says those numbers can be curbed, but it’s up to us to take initiative.

“If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re unvaccinated, get tested before you go. If you become sick after a holiday event, get tested and notify people if you’re positive.”

Currently, 20% of people with COVID in the districts are under 18 years old, and 45% are under age 35.

The Community Vaccination Center located at the old Sears in Roanoke is currently accepting walk-ins for anyone in need of a COVID shot or booster.

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