Richmond - Henrico health leaders address rising COVID-19 cases, baby formula concerns and gun violence

Richmond and Henrico’s COVID-19 case count is climbing, potentially moving into new CDC community levels.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 3:38 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 3:52 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond and Henrico’s COVID-19 case count is climbing, potentially moving into new CDC community levels. The City of Richmond could move to “medium” and Henrico County to “high.”

“If we went to a high or orange level, indoor mask-wearing. Going back to wearing masks for a couple of weeks as we are in this next wave, social distancing when possible,” said Amy Popovich, RHHD Nurse Manager.

Since the start of the year, health leaders have distributed 30,000 at-home test kits. They’re also ramping up public testing events, like one Wednesday morning at The Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, but the anticipated demand wasn’t there.

“If you have symptoms, even mild ones that you’re not sure it’s allergies or something else, go ahead and get tested,” said Popovich.

The CDC will update its assessment of coronavirus in the community Thursday evening. Meanwhile, a potential Pfizer booster shot for 5 -11-year-olds could be available by the weekend.

The health department is also answering the call from new mothers searching for baby formula. There’s a particular focus on the 1,000 Richmond parents in the “Women, Infants and Children Program,” a state nutrition program to help lower-income families.

“The challenges and pain of like really trying to figure out where that’s coming from is really, really challenging, and every family is going to be in a unique, different situation,” said Popovich.

We’re also hearing our first words from the city’s newly hired gun violence prevention coordinator. James Braxton has been on the job for about a month.

“If all of those spaces for young people and their families are toxic, if all of those spaces include young people living in flight or freight mode, then there’s no relief. You know how can they focus in those spaces,” said James Braxton, Gun Violence Prevention Coordinator.

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