COVID-19 positivity rate going up amid spring break

Health officials not expecting Spring Break "surge"

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Henrico Health Department is warning travelers to be vigilant as the COVID-19 positivity rate continues to climb. This week the state is reporting 6.2% positivity, as well as 1,825 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the Commonwealth to 620,801.

“This is an early sign to me that we are going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Richmond Henrico Health Department. “We were seeing our numbers steady out earlier, but that is clearly changing.”

Viray says despite the higher positivity rate, she is not concerned about a ‘fourth wave’ of coronavirus. Instead, doctors are hopeful that the numbers will rebound once people get settled back into their lives. However, she said this is only possible if proper procedures are followed.

“Everyone really needs to be wearing a mask, even if they are vaccinated,” said Viray. “That goes especially for those traveling out of state where they do not have a mask mandate, we need to keep our guard up.”

The concern is that once people return from their travels, they may come back with a variant of COVID-19. While everyone should stay relatively protected if they get the vaccine, doctors are worried it won’t be as effective in fighting virus variants.

“The more you have infection passing through people, the more risk you have of developing a variant,” said Viray. “We can’t give the virus an opportunity here.”

If you are already vaccinated and return from a trip out of state, you are not required to quarantine. However, if you are not vaccinated the health department is asking that you self-quarantine for three days, and then get a COVID test.

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