Health experts give updated data on COVID-19 in Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 6:41 PM EDT
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From March 15 until now, there's been a steady rise in COVID-19 cases.

Some days have significantly more cases than others, as a day-by-day graph shows. There was a spike in mid April due to outbreaks.

Right now there are 12 outbreaks in the

, according to Dr. Molly O'Dell, the director of communicable diseases for the RCAHD.

The outbreaks are at three restaurants, two long-term care facilities, six businesses (including one daycare), and one church.

"Two incubation periods, which for this disease is 28 days, would be the end of the outbreak if there are no other cases, so we actively monitor them for those 28 days. Obviously we can't go into every single business but for restaurants we do because we permit them," said O'Dell.

Dr. Tom Kerkering, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases for Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, also talked about a figure that's known as R-Naught, or the reproduction number of cases. For COVID-19, the R-Naught is between 2.5-3. For comparison, the R-Naught for the measles is 15-18.

When looking at all of the cases that we have seen in this area in the past nearly three months, several other different data sets like age range and ethnicity can be pulled out.

"I highlighted the green, the Hispanic population, because we would call that a disparity. Twenty-seven percent of our COVID-19 positive tests are in the Hispanic population when, according to our census data, they only make up three percent of the population," said Dr. Kerkering.

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