Health district records 1,000 COVID-related deaths

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:30 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Public health officials in western Virginia marked what they describe as a “grim milestone,” 1,000 COVID-related deaths in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.

And they offered more words of warning, as case numbers rise.

“While this isn’t unexpected, it certainly is devastating. We’ve lost a thousand mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts. “It’s really remarkable how COVID continues to take a toll on everyone in our community.”

This week, RCAHD reported over 25 people in hospitals with COVID, for the first time since late February or early March. And Morrow told reporters she’s worried that people have become numb to the impact of COVID, and are dismissing precautions that could help keep them and the people around them safe.

At the same time the region is marking 1,000 deaths, Morrow said the number of cases and the number of hospitalizations are expected to continue climbing.

“Although I can’t predict the future, we do think that it’s very likely that some of our jurisdictions will revert to red or high risk transmission in the next week or two weeks,” Morrow said, “and that’s probably likely of most of our jurisdictions, if not all of our jurisdictions.”

Morrow said the current strains appear to be milder, but more transmissible.

She said she wears a mask in public places, and that will be the official recommendation if the area returns to a high risk of transmission.

As for gatherings on the Memorial Day Weekend, Morrow said she encourages people to hold them outside.

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