COVID activity is high but stable around Roanoke

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - COVID activity in our region is high, but stable, according to public health leaders.

The leader of the Roanoke City Alleghany Health Districts said Tuesday there have been about 650 new cases per week for the last two weeks.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow said it’s important to remember that number doesn’t include all the people who are testing themselves at home.

Hospitalizations are also higher than they have been since March, with about 32 people in the district currently hospitalized.

If there is good news we can take out of that, though, Morrow said hospital stays, on average, are shorter.

And this BA5 omicron subvariant - while very contagious - doesn’t appear to be any more severe than previous variants.

“We are seeing a high number of confirmed cases, which is a portion of the community transmission that’s going on,” she explained. “But the hospitalizations, while they’re higher than they have been since March, are still much lower than we would have expected to see had this been Delta or the original Omicron.”

Dr. Morrow said that’s because this time last year, we had far fewer cases but more hospitalizations.

She encourages people to be vigilant and get vaccinated. She said there are many people who are eligible for a booster who just haven’t gotten one yet.

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