Percent positivity rate spikes at East Henrico Co. Health Department testing event

Dr. Danny Avula says several factors at play

Percent positivity rate spikes at East Henrico Co. Health Department testing event

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The top doctor overseeing health departments in the City of Richmond and Henrico County says he’s watching new COVID-19 trends in the area.

Dr. Danny Avula reports a 30% positivity rate from a recent community testing event at the East Henrico Health Department.

“I think the intersection of seeing more circulating community disease, fewer overall people showing up at a particular event, would drive those percentages up,” said Dr. Avula.

He says some of those Henrico cases are a second positive result following an employer-required re-test. But he also says a number of them were just community residents.

“We are seeing clusters among households. Generally, we look at about a 10% household transmission rate and that’s starting to inch upwards,” said Dr. Avula.

Another factor at play is the fact that fewer people are attending testing events. Over the summer, Dr. Avula said they would test 200 to 300 per event. Now between 50 and 100 show up. Also, Dr. Avula says people are confusing symptoms.

“That same story of somebody who had mild symptoms and thought it was their allergies or didn’t realize the congestion by itself was a potential sign of COVID and so they went to work or they went to the birthday party,” said Dr. Avula.

But not all is doom and gloom, Dr. Avula says now is the time to make a plan for the holidays. You can see loved ones, he just recommends safety precautions like working from home before and after the visit and doing the same with your children.

“Often holiday gatherings have people who are higher risk if you have elderly parents and grandparents and so we really need to think about the context of each of these situations,” said Dr. Avula.

Time and distance are major factors in spreading the virus.

On Thursday, the positivity rate in the City of Richmond stood at 3.7%. In Henrico County, it stood at 4.9%

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